The Platte River Program — A USGS Priority Ecosystems Program

The Platte River Program
USGS Cottonwood Ranch Monitoring and Research

View available data: Cottonwood Research | General Monitoring

Background—The Platte River Endangered Species Partnership (PRESP) is developing a proposed Program that will undertake a number of management activities to modify both land and water to increase or improve habitat for least terns, piping plovers, and whooping cranes. As directed under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) License for Project 1835, Article 407, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will provide to PRESP approximately 2,650 contiguous acres of land on the central Platte River between the J-2 Return and Elm Creek, known as the Cottonwood Ranch Property. This property will count towards the Program’s first increment goal of 10,000 acres. A conceptual plan for development and enhancement of the Cottonwood Ranch Property was developed by NPPD in consultation with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC), the Governance Committee and their representatives, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (Central) and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). (Excerpt from: Research Protocol for Nebraska Public Power District's Cottonwood Ranch Property)

Monitoring and Research - Development and Enhancement Plan calls for removal of channel bank vegetation to promote bank erosion and channel widening. The USGS has developed a research plan to investigate the geomorphic effects of the management plan by monitoring selected reaches of the Cottonwood Ranch. The overall goal of the monitoring is to provide the necessary data to evaluate channel rehabilitation practices. Specific questions are focused on whether the management activities cause measurable changes downstream, and whether managed habitat can be sustained through river processes or if long-term maintenance needs are required.

For information regarding the Cottonwood Ranch Project please contact:

Paul J
Box 25046, Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046
phone: (303) 236-5001

Cottonwood Research General Monitoring

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