Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



Clausen, Mary, Mike Fritz and Gerry Steinauer. June 1989. The Nebraska Natural Heritage Program: Two Year Progress Report. Nebraska Natural Heritage Program. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. 162 pp.


Since European settlement, human activities have totally eliminated the natural vegetation from approximately 50 percent of Nebraska’s landscape, and of that remaining most has been heavily impacted. As a result, numerous plants and animals have been extirpated from the state and many others are threatened.

The destruction of Nebraska’s natural diversity resulted in both public and private conservation groups recognizing the need for a centralized and accessible biological database for the state’s rare species and natural community types. Toward this end, the Nebraska Natural Heritage Program (NENHP) was established in August, 1987 through a cooperative effort between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NG&PC).

The NENHP provides the only comprehensive system for identifying the ecologically significant components of Nebraska’s natural diversity. The inventory focuses on individual components or elements of natural diversity, those features (plants, animals, and natural communities) of particular interest because they are exemplary, unique, or endangered on a state or national basis. The NENHP’s inventory is ongoing, with an information base that can be readily updated as new information becomes available and consists of computerized, manual, and map files.

This technical report describes the purpose and progress of the Nebraska Natural Heritage Program. It has been prepared in fulfillment of contractual obligations and as a basis for future discussion. The report is intended to serve both as a reference document and as a proposal for future activities.