Read about our record number of bison calves, two river otters released and a prescribed fire
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From the President & CEO  


The fall migration is in full swing in the Central Platte River Valley. We’ve been fortunate to see and hear many Sandhill Cranes in the last few weeks. Unlike the spring migration, Sandhill Cranes and Whooping Cranes normally only stay for a day or two in the fall, so this current migration is just a glimpse of what we will see in March. 

Planning for our spring migration events is already underway. Crane Trust members have the first opportunity to book our guided blind tours and overnight VIP program. Booking is now available for members in the membership portal. Non-member booking will begin in January. Not yet a member? Click here to join and learn about the importance of our membership program.  

SAVE THE DATE for our virtual Fall Whooping Crane Migration Report - Tuesday, November 28th at 7 p.m. (CST). 

With continued gratitude, 



Brice Krohn
President & CEO 

National Bison Day - Saturday, November 4

This year the Crane Trust’s herd of American Bison had 48 calves - a record number! Calving season starts in April and lasts through the late spring and summer. This year our latest calf was born on August 25. Our Land Management and Science Team continually monitors the effects of the 173 bison on Crane Trust prairie.  The bison's distinctive grazing style and wallowing behavior allow a wide variety of forbs and grasses to thrive in our restored prairie. This winter the team will be working the bison herd for their yearly health check and testing the calves for paternity and genetic composition. As the prairie's keystone species, bison are vital to Crane Trust's restoration work.  Click here to learn more about our bison program.    

River Otter Release 


The Crane Trust Science Team had a unique experience this fall of assisting Nebraska Wildlife Rehab (NWR) with a river otter release. NWR had rehabilitated two orphaned otters this year, and needing quality habitat to release them, reached out to us.  The Platte River provides an excellent habitat for river otters. Given the success of Crane Trust's work in restoring and preserving the river and surrounding habitat, we saw this as a great opportunity to highlight the benefits of our work, not only for cranes but for many other species - including river otters, who represent a great conservation victory in this unique area.  After giving the otters about a week to acclimate to their new habitat here on the Platte, we opened their enclosure and let them be wild again. Since then we have evidence that they have adjusted well and are hunting on their own!

Land Management - Prescribed Fire

Burn October 2023
In late October, the Land Management Team conducted a prescribed burn on approximately 80 acres of our property on the south side of the Platte River. Prescribed fires are the controlled application of fire by a team of trained wildland firefighters to restore health to ecosystems. Historically, periodic natural fires kept the ecosystem thriving. A prescribed fire replicates that process and helps restore nutrients and encourage more diverse vegetation.

Burn plans written by specialists identify the best conditions under which trees and other plants will burn to get the best results safely. Before a burn, we consider temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke.

The right fire at the right place at the right time:

  • Reduces hazardous fuels, protecting human communities from extreme fires
  • Minimizes the spread of pest insects and disease
  • Removes unwanted species that threaten native species
  • Provides forage for wildlife
  • Improves habitat for threatened and endangered species
  • Recycles nutrients back to the soil
  • Promotes the growth of native plants

Prescribed fire description adapted from US Forest Service.

Upcoming Events at Nature & Visitor Center 

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events at the Nature & Visitor Center: 

Tuesday, November 14
6:30-8 p.m. 
Potluck & Speaker Series: Cranes After Dark with Kylee Warren

Saturday, November 18
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
Holiday Open House with Gift Shop Discounts, Tasting Tables, Artist Demos and Activities for All Ages

Thank you for your continued engagement and interest in Crane Trust happenings! 

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