Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



Steinauer, Gerry, Kent Pfeiffer, and Jarren Kuipers. March 2011. Native Grassland Management Guidelines for Nebraska's Wildlife Management Areas. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Northern Prairies Land Trust. 60 pp.


This document is one of a four part series produced by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to provide direction to managers of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Nebraska. Other documents in the series cover management of woodlands, wetlands, and converted habitats.

Prior to EuroAmerican settlement grasslands covered 98% of the Nebraska landscape and supported the majority of the state’s biodiversity. Since settlement, Nebraska’s native grasslands have suffered serious decline. For example, approximately 98% of eastern Nebraska’s tallgrass prairie has been lost to development. In central and western Nebraska grassland losses have been less dramatic though still substantial. Remnant grasslands are threatened by development, exotic plant invasion, and mismanagement. Only through sound management can the prairies on our WMAs, as well as the native plants and wildlife dependent on them, be preserved for the citizens of Nebraska. .

This document is directed towards management that maintains and enhances the ecological character and biodiversity of native grasslands on WMAs. Though plant community-based, the management objectives and strategies promoted within this document will provide benefits for wildlife including game species.

The specific objectives of this document are as follows:

1) Develop a philosophy of native grassland management for WMA managers.

2) Provide background of information on the need for and benefits of sound grassland management.

3) Provide information that will help land managers identify grassland types and their ecological quality.

4) Provide information on grassland management techniques.

5) Provide minimum management requirements and management options for native grasslands on WMAs.