Buying land can be a costly venture for anyone, but for conservation groups finding the money to do it is sometimes an uphill battle.
That's why the US Fish and Wildlife Service says they're happy to provide endangered species conservation projects a little boost through land acquisition grants.
"It's a way that we can partner with other organizations and leverage federal funds with other sorts of funds," says Robert Harms, a fish and wildlife biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Grand Island. "When you put a little bit of money together with a little more money and a little bit more, pretty soon you end up with large projects which are really good."
The Fish and Wildlife Service says that one of their land acquisition grants will be helping right here in central Nebraska at Rowe Sanctuary. Rowe Sanctuary Director Bill Taddicken says that it can be tough to get funds for land, but when they do, they want to make sure everyone benefits.
"The Platte River is a working river," says Taddicken. "Being a working river and a working landscape Audubon's here to find solutions for the cranes and be able to work as a cooperative partner with everything from landowners to government agencies."
The whooping crane is just one of several endangered and threatened species that Rowe and Fish and Wildlife is trying to protect by buying crucial habitat, but Taddicken says they don't just grab up whatever is for sale.
"We don't have a big pot of money for properties so we have to raise money, so we are pretty careful about what we're looking for," he says.
And officials say that in Nebraska, where land is an in-demand commodity, finding the right land that is also for sale doesn't happen all the time.
"Sometimes land that's up for sale, especially along the Platte River, can be very expensive," says Harms. "This is definitely an opportunity to get some conservation on the ground out there."
Then officials say once they've purchased land, they often have to look for other funds and grants to help pay for rehabilitation and restoration.
The Fish and Wildlife says they awarded over $33 million in grants through their Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. An area in Lancaster County will also be getting grant money for the protection of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle's habitat.