Sand Hills of Nebraska

The Sandhills of Nebraska have an important part in sustaining the states agriculture success. The Sandhills lay in the West central part of the state and covers an area of 19,600 square miles, the Sandhills of Nebraska are the largest sand dune formation in America (Fish and Wildlife, n.d.). The Sandhills are a vital tool for the farmers and ranchers throughout Nebraska, providing grazing land to cattle and feeding the water table that farmers use to irrigate their crops.
The sand dunes that make up the Sandhills were formed by blowing wind.   The dunes are now covered with a thick deeply rooted prairie grass, rendering the dunes immobile.   A core sample from the one study indicated that there were two episodes of stream blockage by dunes, one just prior to 12,000 years and another just prior to 6,000 years ago, showing that the dunes were active as recent as 6,000 years ago (Loope and Swinehart, 2000).  
Over 720 different species of plants call the Sandhills home.   The Sandhills are also home to over 314 animal species, including mule deer, coyotes, red fox, meadowlarks, wild turkey, native bat species, and many fish species (Answers website, 2010). Also the Sand Hill Crane uses the area near the Platte River during the migration season. Staying just over night on the way south during the fall migration, and a couple of weeks to refuel on the way north in the spring.   With limited area that is conducive to raising crops, has preserved the biodiversity of the Sandhills.  
The small lakes that lie between the sand dunes are connected to the Ogallala aquifer. The Sand Hills' thousands of ponds and lakes replenish the Ogallala Aquifer, which feeds creeks and rivers such as the Niobrara and Loup rivers. These bodies of water are homes for many species of fish including rare Sandhill Shiners, a type of minnow found only here. The lakes are mainly sandy-bottomed and provide water for the region's cattle, as well as a habitat for aquatic species....