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Life in the Sandhills

By Linda Tancs

The Nebraskan Sandhills refers to a region of mixed-grass prairie on grass-stabilized sand dunes in north-central Nebraska. In the heart of the Sandhills is Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, an area encompassing nearly 72,000 acres of lakes, marshes and prairie grasses that provide a habitat for diverse wildlife. In fact, it’s home to 270 species of birds, 59 species of mammals and 22 species of reptiles and amphibians. Among many distinctions, the refuge is recognized by the state as a top ecotourism site and by the Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, especially for its large population of greater prairie chickens. The Marsh Lakes Overlook and a short nature trail provide great views of the grasslands and marshes. You’ll also find an observation deck located on the old fire tower, a great place for bird watching and prairie views.

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