Pearl Harbor Survivors Preserve

At the Pearl Harbor Survivors Preserve, one can experience Nebraska’s Central Loess Hills, an extensive rolling hard-land region that was once vegetated with mixed-grass prairie. The Central Loess Hills contain the Loup River system, which comes out of the Sandhills to the west, and such towns as Broken Bow, Sargent, Callaway and Arnold, to name just a few located north and west of this property.

History

In November of 1983, Howard Juhl donated his 320-acre Buffalo County property to Prairie Plains Resource Institute. This was land Mr. Juhl helped his father farm through the Depression years leading up to World War II. Mr. Juhl enlisted in the Navy prior to the war and was in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked the United States fleet harbored there. His gift of land is dedicated to those who survived this attack.

One quarter section (160 acres) of the property is in cropland, which is used to provide management funds for the land. The other quarter section is native prairie — some never broken, some restored to high-diversity prairie and some eroded hill land in a go-back condition recovering from past farming activity. Mr. Juhl endowed the property with a small bison herd, which still roams the hills.

Unique Features

The Central Nebraska Loess Hills have a beauty all their own — large rolling hills breaking into the distance. At the Pearl Harbor Survivors Preserve, the hills drain northward toward the South Loup River near Pleasanton. The prairie is characterized by a mix of short grasses like side oats and blue grammas, and tall grasses such as big bluestem and Indian grass, depending on soil moisture conditions. There are a variety of wildflowers such as leadplant, prairie violet, prairie clover, purple coneflower, prairie turnip and many more. Wildlife includes mule and whitetail deer, jackrabbits, badger, coyotes and various bird species.

Stewardship

Prescribed burning has been carried out on occasion since 1987, primarily to discourage smooth bromegrass and to stimulate the growth of native grasses and wildflowers. Prescribed grazing is done annually during the spring and fall, also to help control smooth brome. Much has been learned on this preserve over the past 30 years regarding management and restoration of this landscape. Burning and grazing activities — the two main factors driving the prairie ecosystem — are essential in its restoration to productive agricultural or wildlife uses.

Location

Located six miles north of Riverdale on Riverdale Road, then west two miles on Pole Line Road; Buffalo County north of Kearney, Nebraska.

GPS Coordinates

Latitude/Longitude: 40.875 -99.194

Additional Resources