It has been another week of NFPW connections I did not expect.

Colorado’s Lori Rapp contacted me about a water issue in the South Platte Basin of northern Colorado and sent me a copy of an outstanding story about it in the Greeley newspaper. I won’t go into the details, but Lori was told that the only way to stop a project to transport groundwater from an agriculture area south to the city of Thornton is if a downstream water user has objections and became involved.

Well, Nebraska is that downstream water user and the biggest interest in preserving river flows for wildlife habitat in the Central Platte Valley where I live is the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program that involves Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and the U.S. Department of Interior.

The program’s headquarters are in Kearney, so I showed the newspaper story to the executive director and asked some questions. I didn’t have good news for Lori, because the program leadership does not have a reason to intervene.

However, it was one of those NFPW networking moments I think are great.

I had another one recently when I walked out of Rowe Sanctuary’s Iain Nicolson Audubon Center southeast of Kearney – one of the 2011 Nebraska pre-conference tour stops – and glanced at a rack of brochures and cards promoting other bird-related conservation places to see.

There was one for Creamer’s Field, a migratory waterfowl refuge and national historical site near Fairbanks that is one of the places featured on the Sept. 6-9 pre-tour ahead of our 2015 NFPW Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.

Some of the hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes that have been in central Nebraska the past six weeks go to Creamer’s Field for the summer. In fact the Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival is Aug. 28-30.


The entire pre-tour sounds fantastic and this stop will be a special treat for me. And maybe a Kearney Hub story opportunity.

I don’t know if the Creamer’s Field stop was made a part of the pre-tour itinerary especially for me, but thank you Alaska hosts if that was the case. It will be wonderful to see some of my favorite, wacky, wonderful birds in six months instead of having to wait an entire year.

I know their dancing time is focused on courtship here in the Platte Valley, but I hope there will be some hops, skips, jumps and wing stretches for all of us to enjoy in Alaska in September.