RULO, Neb. (AP) — A Native American tribe has regained ownership of river bluffs, hardwood forest and tall grass prairie along the Missouri River through an agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Nebraska.
The conservancy recently transferred 160 acres (65 hectares) of Richardson County bluff land to the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. The tribe and the conservancy agreed to a conservation easement, which prevents development incompatible with the land’s ecological value.
Mace Hack, the conservancy’s state director, says the site is a rare habitat where mature hardwood forest coexists with tall grass prairie. He says the overlapping ecosystems magnify the variety of plants and animals living there.
Tribal Vice Chairman Alan Kelley says the land’s return helps with tribal healing. He says they’ll restore and preserve it.