Salt Marsh

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The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is being encouraged by scientists and wildlife habitat advocates to move forward with the purchase of a rare saline wetland that supports a rare insect.

The 156 acre tract sits seven miles north of Lincoln and is home to the endangered Salt Creet tiger beetle.

Conservation Alliance of the Great Plains board member Joel Sartore of Lincoln says the tiger beetle's chances are next to nothing without some heavy hitters stepping up right now.

The May 21 game commission board meeting in Ogallala will consider the $476,000 purchase price negotiated with property owner, the Nebraska Board of Educational Lands and Funds.

The seven commissioners tabled the purchase at a March 24th meeting. Commissioner Gary Parker of Columbus says he wanted more time to think over the high price of the land. Commission staff say an independent appraisal listed the land value at $449,000.

The commission has lined up funds for the purchase. About 75-percent comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's fund for endangered species projects. The rest comes from a grant by the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund.