Saturday, July 13, 2013

BUFFALO STAMPEDE 5K–JULY 20, 2013

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First-Ever Trail Run/Walk on Historic Platte River Island Showcases Nature's Beauty

With final preparations underway for the Crane Trust’s first-ever trail run on historic Shoemaker Island, I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of this land and the incredible diversity of plants and wildlife that it supports. The fun-for-all trail run/walk is being held to celebrate the addition of four new bison to the Crane Trust’s exhibition herd—and is sure to deliver a wonderful morning to remember.    


For the special 5K run/walk, the Crane Trust has opened its native grassland habitat for runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. The race is being run on a mowed grassland trail that meanders up and down across a gentle landscape shaped by centuries of river flooding and vast herds of grazing bison. This time of year the wildflowers are in full bloom and the grassland birds are quick to fill the air with song.

 Toward the end of the open prairie course, runners will be greeted by a beautiful stretch of trail that winds through wooded habitat along the river before crossing the river (on two footbridges) to the finish line. Water levels permitting, participants will be able to cool their feet in the shallow waters of the Platte River channel when the race is done.  

The 5K-race has been accurately measured and is being timed for the competitors among us. Runners/walkers will receive a finisher medal and Buffalo Stampede 5K t-shirt. Overall male and female winners will also receive Buffalo Stampede trophies.

Start time for the trail run/walk is 8:00 a.m. at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center (I-80 Alda Exit #305) on Saturday, July 20, rain or shine.  Early registration (on/or before July 15) is $20 for adults and $12 for youth 12 and under. After July 15, registration is $25 for adults and $17 for youth. Race-day registration opens at 7:00 a.m. at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. Additional information and registration forms for the historic trail run/walk are available at NebraskaNature.org or contact Karen Krull Robart at 308-382-1820, kkrullrobart@cranetrust.org.

The Visionaries film production company will be on location to film the event for a 30-minute Crane Trust documentary for PBS’s nationally televised Visionaries series hosted by actor Sam Waterston of Law & Order. In addition to the trail run/walk and local interviews, the crew will also be filming a variety of habitat management and conservation programs underway this summer at the Crane Trust.
Earlier filming for the documentary included the spring crane migration of sandhill cranes, with hundreds of thousands of cranes staging on vital habitat managed by the Crane Trust. The new PBS Crane Trust documentary will premiere in the fall.
  
Since 1978, the Crane Trust has been dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat
for the endangered whooping crane, sandhill cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through scientific research, habitat management, community outreach and education. The Crane Trust today is responsible for protecting approximately 10,000 acres of vital habitat in south-central Nebraska through direct ownership and conservation easements.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chimps, Cranes and Conservation Come Together at the Crane Trust: Presentation by The Jane Goodall Institute

Wood River, NE- Chimps, cranes and conservation converge this Saturday in an amazing display of nature and its interconnectedness when Bill Wallauer of The Jane Goodall Institute takes center stage at the Crane Trust’s Wild About Nebraska speaker and event series.

Wallauer's presentation, “Chimpanzees and Conservation Around the World”, will start at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 23, and is open and free to the public. 

As chief videographer with The Jane Goodall Institute, Wallauer’s most recent projects include the popular Disneynature film “Chimpanzee” and The Jane Goodall Institute’s “Chimp Champion.” His infectious personality, great stories and jaw-dropping chimpanzee multimedia presentation help audiences understand how chimpanzees are like us—sharing 98 percent of our DNA and so many of our personality traits. 

Last spring, Wallauer experienced Nebraska’s great sandhill crane migration for the first time from a Crane Trust photo/video blind and fell in love with the Platte River and its cranes. Whether it’s the Big Bend reach of the Platte River in Nebraska or Gombe National Park in Tanzania, Wallauer has observed significant similarities in the issues and challenges facing conservation around the world.

After his in-person presentation at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center, Wallauer will also show the film “Chimpanzee” at 1:30 p.m. at the Grand Theater in Grand Island that same day. All proceeds from the viewing of the film will benefit The Jane Goodall Institute.

As part of the Crane Trust’s continuing speaker and event series that day, Jorn Olsen of Jorn Olsen Photography will also speak at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and help visitors discover the uncommon beauty of Nebraska’s plains. Olsen will be available afterward to sign his award-winning book “Across a Wide Horizon.”

Wine tasting, courtesy of Cedar Hills Vineyard, will also be happening from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the nature and visitor center.

The Crane Trust’s month-long speaker and event series is a public celebration of Nebraska’s Great Sandhill Crane Migration, as more than 500,000 sandhill cranes descend on the Platte River in south-central Nebraska every spring for 3-4 weeks before continuing on to their breeding grounds in the north. 

The Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through science, habitat management, community outreach, and education.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sports Illustrated Photographer Kicks Off Another Wild About Nebraska Weekend at the Crane Trust


Wood River, Neb–Internationally acclaimed Sports Illustrated photographer Bill Frakes will kick off another Wild About Nebraska weekend this Saturday, March 16, at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. Frake’s presentation, titled “Frakes Takes—My Life in Photography”, will start at 11:00 a.m.

Based in Florida, Frakes hails originally from Nebraska, having worked in all 50 states and in more than 125 countries for an astonishing variety of editorial and advertising clients. Among his advertising clients are Apple, Nike, Coca Cola, Nikon and IBM. Editorially, his work has appeared in virtually all major general interest publication in the world.

Frakes has received hundreds of national and international awards for his work, including the coveted Newspaper Photographer of the Year award in the prestigious Pictures of the Year competition. He also was awarded the Gold Medal by World Press Photo and was a member of the Miami Herald staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of Hurricane Andrew. He has been honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for reporting on the disadvantaged and by the Overseas Press club for distinguished foreign reporting.

Founder of Straw Hat Visuals, Frakes is back home in Nebraska this week to photograph the great sandhill crane migration and to lead a three-day photo tour/workshop on the Platte River to document the experience. As part of the Crane Trust’s Wild About Nebraska speaker and event series, his presentation on Saturday is open to the public and promises a fantastic array of sports and outdoor imagery from around the world.  

Other feature presentations March 16-17 include:

“Outdoor Adventures in Photography” (Saturday, March 16, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)
Award-winning nature and wildlife photographer Rick Rasmussen shares his most memorable moments and images in the wild. Rasmussen’s passion for the outdoors began in his early years hunting and fishing with his father in Nebraska, which set the stage for a life of photography throughout the Platte River Valley and, most recently, the wilds of Alaska and the Antarctic.

“Rocky Mountain Headwaters of the Platte” (Sunday, March 17:  2:00 – 3:00 p.m.)
On Sunday, Dr. Will Locke, Professor Emeritus at Hastings College, will lead visitors to the highest Colorado peaks and snowfields to view the scenic headwaters of the North and South Platte Rivers. Locke’s presentation will follow these two rivers downstream into Nebraska where they merge to become the braided river that cranes depend on for successful staging during their spring migration to breeding grounds in the north.

“A Crane’s Eye View” (Sunday, March 17:  3:00 – 4:00 p.m.)
Visitors will take flight with Dr. Bill Beachly, Professor of Biology at Hastings College, as he delivers a fascinating birds-eye view of the sandhill crane's journey northward from its wintering grounds in Mexico to its staging grounds along the Platte River in south-central Nebraska. Beachly's presentation gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Google it!"

Wine Tasting: Noon-4:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.  

All events and presentations are open to the public and are being held at the Crane TrustNature & Visitor Center near Wood River in south central Nebraska, I-80 Alda Exit 305. Before and after the presentations, visitors can browse the center’s fine art gallery and gift shop or take a short walk to see the live bison exhibition herd, climb the observation tower and hike out onto the prairie. Guided crane tours for the public can also be reserved online at NebraskaNature.org or by calling (308) 382-1820.  

The Crane Trust’s month-long Wild About Nebraska speaker and event series is a public celebration of Nebraska’s Great Sandhill Crane Migration, as more than 500,000 sandhill cranes descend on the Platte River in south central Nebraska every spring for 3-4 weeks before continuing on to their breeding grounds in the north. 

The Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through science, habitat management, community outreach, and education.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center / 9325 S Alda Road / Wood River, NE 68883
www.NebraskaNature.org

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Birds of Prey Take Center Stage at Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center

NEWS RELEASE
March 6, 2013                                                          

Birds of Prey Take Center Stage This Saturday at Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center

Wood River, Neb–Hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls, oh, my! These amazing birds of prey that ply the Nebraska skies will star in a special live presentation this Saturday, March 9, at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. The presentation, titled “Nebraska Raptors”, will start at 11:00 a.m. and wrap up around 12:30 p.m.

As part of the Crane Trust’s month-long “Wild About Nebraska” speaker and event series, the raptor program is open to the public, free of charge, and promises a rare, up-close experience for adults, families, and children of all ages.   

Blake Hatfield of Raptor Recovery Nebraska will lead the program and demonstrate with live birds how these incredible hunters of the sky have adapted to become a vital part of the Nebraska landscape. Each has it’s place in the environment, and Blake will bring a live hawk, falcon vulture and owl from the program to demonstrate how well equipped they are to take their place near the top of the food chain. 

The month-long Wild About Nebraska speaker and event series is a public celebration of Nebraska’s Great Sandhill Crane Migration, according to Crane Trust spokesman Jeff Oates, as more than 500,000 sandhill cranes descend on the Platte River in south central Nebraska every spring to spend 3-4 weeks, before continuing on to their breeding grounds in the north.

“We’re particularly excited this year to host our greatest variety of outstanding speakers and presentations yet for the month-long event,” says Oates. “When people talk about the ‘arts and sciences’, they’ll find both in full bloom this March at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center.”


The complete line-up of events and upcoming speakers, dates and times are outlined below:

Sat, March 9
·      Blake Hatfield, Nebraska Raptor Recovery Program, “Nebraska Raptors”, live bird presentation (11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
·      Wine Tasting (Noon-4:00p.m.)

Sat, March 16
·      Bill Frakes, Sports Illustrated & Outdoor Photographer, “Frakes Takes—My Life in Photography” (11:00 – Noon)
·      Rick Rasmussen, Wildlife Photographer, “Outdoor Adventures in Photography” (1:00-2:00p.m.)
·      Wine Tasting (Noon-4:00p.m.)

Sun, March 17
·      Dr. Will Locke, Hastings College, “Rocky Mountain Headwaters of the Platte River” (2:00-3:00p.m.)
·      Dr. Bill Beachly, Hastings College, “A Crane’s Eye View of Central Nebraska”
            (3:00-4:00p.m.)
·      Wine Tasting, Noon-4:00 p.m.

Sat, March 23
·      Bill Wallauer, The Jane Goodall Institute Videographer, “Chimpanzees and Conservation” (11:00-Noon)
·      Jorn Olsen, Jorn Olsen Photography, “Discovering the Uncommon Beauty of Nebraska’s Plains” & book signing (Noon-3:00 p.m.)
·      Wine Tasting (Noon-2:00 p.m.)

Sun, March 24 1:00-5:00p.m.
·      Dr. Wade Harrell, newly appointed Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (12:00 p.m.)
·      Dr. Barry Hartup, International Crane Foundation Veterinarian, “Whooping Cranes in the Wild and Captivity” (1:00 p.m.)
·      Dr. Mary Harner/Greg Wright, Crane Trust, Update on Whooping Crane Research & Overwintering Sandhill Cranes (2:00 p.m.)
·      Dr. George Happ, Emeritus Professor, University of Alaska-Fairbanks and Co-author of the Sandhill Crane Display Dictionary, “Primal Dancing and the Nurturing of Young Cranes” (3:15 p.m.)
·      Dr. Aaron Pearse, USGS on Sandhill Cranes (4:00 p.m.)
·      Rockbrook Camera/Video Showcase (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)


Sat, March 30
·      Blake Hatfield, Nebraska Raptor Recovery Program, “Nebraska Raptors”, live bird presentation (11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
·      Dr. Paul Johnsgard, UNL professor, author, ornithologist, “Winter & Early Spring Birds of Nebraska (1:00-2:00 p.m.)

All events and presentations are open to the public and will be held at the Crane Trust Nature& Visitor Center near Wood River in south central Nebraska, I-80 Alda Exit 305. Visitors can also browse our fine art gallery and gift shop with Nebraska-made goods while they’re here. Guided crane tours for the public can also be reserved online at NebraskaNature.org or by calling (308) 382-1820.  

Established in 1978, the Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through science, habitat management, community outreach, and education.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center / 9325 S Alda Road / Wood River, NE 68883
www.NebraskaNature.org






Friday, February 22, 2013

Crane Trust Speaker and Event Series Kicks Off March 2 with Nationally Acclaimed Artist


NEWS RELEASE
February 21, 2013

Jeff Oates, Crane Trust / 402-469-3436 (cell)
Cynthia Duff / Artist, Painter, Sculptor / 970-985-0812 (cell)

Crane Trust Speaker and Event Series Kicks Off March 2 with Nationally Acclaimed Artist

Wood River, Neb–The Crane Trust’s Wild About Nebraska speaker and event series gets underway Saturday, March 2, with an inspired afternoon with nationally acclaimed artist Cynthia Duff. The live painting, book signing and observation session will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center, giving visitors a rare opportunity to ask questions and interact with the artist as she gives form to her latest creation.

The month-long Wild About Nebraska speaker and event series is a public celebration of Nebraska’s Great Sandhill Crane Migration, says Crane Trust spokesman Jeff Oates, as more than 500,000 sandhill cranes descend on a narrow stretch of the Platte River in south central Nebraska every spring, before continuing on to their breeding grounds in the north. 

“We’re particularly excited this year to host what’s shaping up to be our greatest variety of outstanding speakers and presentations yet for the month-long event,” says Oates. “When people talk about the ‘arts and sciences’, they’ll find them both in full bloom this March at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center.”

With something planned for every weekend in March, this year’s event will feature photographers like renowned Sports Illustrated photographer Bill Frakes and Nebraska’s own Rick Rasmussen and Jorn Olsen; author and outdoor writer Jeff Kurrus; and raptor recovery expert Blake Hatfield. A special presentation by The Jane Goodall Institute’s videographer Bill Wallauer is also in the works.     

“On the science and research side, the Crane Trust is thrilled to host a truly world-class gathering of experts on North America’s cranes,” says Oates. “Many will be featured March 23-24, including Dr. Barry Hartup, International Crane Federation veterinarian who has worked with whooping cranes in the wild and in captivity for over a decade.” Dr. Wade Harrell, newly appointed Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey wildlife biologist Dr. Aaron Pearse, and the Crane Trust’s own Dr. Mary Harner and Greg Wright will also speak.    
Perennial favorite and renowned avian ecologist and author Dr. Paul Johnsgard will also be on-hand this year, as will Dr. George Happ, co-author of the Sandhill Crane Display Dictionary and Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.     
  
“This is a once-a-year opportunity for crane experts from around the world and the general public to get together to renew acquaintances, exchange ideas, and share their knowledge and passion for these magnificent birds,” said Oates. “For many of our speakers, this is also a chance for them to climb into a blind on the river and enjoy the migration themselves. As their schedules settle down, we’ll be posting updates and speaker times on our website at NebraskaNature.org.”
    
All events and presentations are open to the public and will be held at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center near Wood River in south central Nebraska, I-80 Alda Exit 305. Guided crane tours for the public can also be reserved online at NebraskaNature.org or by calling (308) 382-1820.  

Established in 1978, the Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through science, habitat management, community outreach, and education.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Digital photos of Cynthia Duff and her artwork are available. Please contact Jeff Oates or Karen Krull Robart.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center / 9325 S Alda Road / Wood River, NE 68883
www.NebraskaNature.org




Monday, November 12, 2012

Whooper Watch - Fall Migration

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
November 8, 2012

Contact: Mary Harner, 308-384-4633 / Greg Wright, 308-520-4166 

Whooper Watch™ Activated For Fall Migration of Endangered Whooping Cranes 

Wood River, Nebraska—The Crane Trust has activated its Whooper Watch™ program this fall to enlist public support in sighting the endangered whooping crane as it migrates back through Nebraska to its wintering grounds on the Texas Gulf Coast.   

The whooping crane stands nearly five feet tall, making it the tallest bird in North America. With fewer than 300 whooping cranes in the last wild migratory flock, the whooping crane is also one of the rarest birds in the world, explains Dr. Mary Harner, Director of Science at the Crane Trust.  


Friday, October 12, 2012

Crane Trust Research Symposium To Focus on Complex Platte River Ecosystem

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release / Contact: Mary Harner (308) 384-4633
October 12, 2012

Crane Trust Research Symposium 
To Focus on Complex Platte River Ecosystem

Wood River, Neb–The Crane Trust will convene a comprehensive research symposium focused on the Platte River ecosystem on October 19, 2012, at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. The all-day event will feature 20 presentations and overviews of leading scientific research being conducted on Crane Trust lands and surrounding habitats.  

The program has been organized to showcase the remarkable diversity and significance of research being conducted on the central Platte River ecosystem as it pertains to critical habitat for sandhill cranes, the endangered whooping crane, and other migratory birds.