The South Platte NRD Board of Directors is a group of locally elected officials managing area natural resources on your behalf. The board meets the second Tuesday of each month and welcomes your input.
The next scheduled board meeting is:
Tuesday, July 14
5:00 p.m. at the District Office, 551 Parkland Dr. in Sidney.
Click here to see board agendas and minutes.
To see solutions to tree girdling in
To see meeting notices, click here.
Sidney Captures Second At State Envirothon
COZAD – The Sidney High School Envirothon team made a run at the Nebraska state championship here at Camp Comeca, falling by points to champion Concordia High School in the end.
|Sidney Envirotnon Team members included Skylar Arent, Tanner Nienhueser, Theda Parker, Logan Uhlir and Ryan Birner|
Sidney tied Concordia in one of the seven skill areas, Aquatics, but Concordia topped all teams in five additional areas to capture their third straight state title. Concordia will now prepare for the National Envirothon in Springfield, Missouri in July.
On the way to state, student teams, consisting of five members, first competed in one of six regional contests around the state. The highest scoring teams earned the opportunity to compete at the state competition.
Sidney led a contingent of three teams from the West Region, covering the Panhandle. Also competing from the region were teams from Chadron and Creek Valley High School at Chappell. (Click here to read more.)
Final Seat Filled On SPNRD Board
The South Platte NRD board is full again following the appointment to fill the vacancy left by former Subdistrict 6 Director Tom Biggs, who retired at the end of 2014. No one filed for the seat in the November election, setting up the need for an appointed director.
Two candidates, Randy Horst of Gurley and Kathy Narjes of rural Lodgepole applied for the position. Each was interviewed during the District’s February board meeting, outlining their qualifications and reasons for their application. Following the interviews a written ballot and subsequent roll call vote was taken to see who would be the nominee.
Narjes, who takes part in a farm and ranch operation with her husband Phil and also serves as a part-time legal assistant, was chosen to fill the seat. Her appointment is until the next election in two years, at which time she can run to continue her term. (Click here to read more.)
Board Begins Year With A New Member
The South Platte Natural Resources District board of directors began the year by welcoming a new member into its fold, while choosing Keith Rexroth to continue his role as chairman.
Phil Grabowski of rural Sidney joined the board after being elected last November, replacing long-time board member Paul Hutchison, who retired at the end of his term last year. Grabowski is a farmer and rancher and will represent NRD Subdistrict 4, covering southwest Cheyenne county including a portion of southwest Sidney.
Grabowski was sworn in just prior to the board meeting, along with Jim Johnson of Dix, who was re-elected to serve Subdistrict 2, covering eastern Kimball County and part of western Cheyenne County. (Click here to read more.)
South Platte NRD Honors Retiring Members
|Tom Biggs, Paul Hutchison|
The South Platte Natural Resources District board of directors closed out its final meeting of 2014 by bidding farewell to a pair of retiring long term members.
Directors Paul Hutchison and Tom Biggs attended their last meeting as part of a board that established most of the District’s water management rules and regulations during their tenures.
Both were board members when LB 962, the Nebraska Ground Water Management and Protection Act, was passed by the Nebraska Legislature. The resulting Districtwide Ground Water Management Area Rules and Regulations and the District’s Integrated Management Plan that serve as the backbone of the District’s ground water management were major achievements. (Click here to read more.)
District Partipates In Aquifer Recharge Project
Working together, the South Platte Natural Resources District (SPNRD), Twin Platte Natural Resources District (TPNRD), Western Irrigation District, and landowners in Keith and Deuel Counties are taking advantage of the excess flows in the South Platte River. These entities are working together to turn high flows in the South Platte River into ground water recharge.
The goal of this project is to capture the excess water, or amount of water that is not already permitted for downstream uses, and recharge it into the ground water aquifer instead of just letting it flow by unused. (Click here to read more.)
Armstrong, Diemoz Appointed to Monitoring Committee
At its March board meeting the South Platte Natural resources District board of directors appointed two Kimball County residents to fill open positions on a local monitoring committee.
Dennis Armstrong, of rural Bushnell and Steve Diemoz of rural Kimball, join the team that monitors operations at Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc., a hazardous waste incinerator site located south of Kimball.
The Committee holds regular meetings where it receives reports from the plant manager, safety manager and its own consultant. Monitoring systems reviewed include the facility’s waste analysis plan, ash samples, air samples, soil samples, leachate, sludge and leak water, groundwater samples from 150 and 180 feet, and storm water.
The Committee also provides input to the regulatory agencies when Clean Harbors wants to change or renew permits.
Joint Authority Formed To Manage East Sidney Drainage Issues
The District and the City of Sidney have been holding joint meetings for several months, working toward the development of options to alleviate problems caused by excessive drainage in southeast Sidney.
The entities have formed the Joint East Sidney Watershed Authority (JESWA) to manage a joint effort to reduce runoff and associated problems from the drainage area.
For a number of years, large rains have been a problem as development continues, changing runoff patterns. Flooding that has the potential to carry contaminants and silt, as well as resulting erosion, has prompted the effort for controlling the runoff. (Click here to read more.)
New Practices Add Beauty, Function and Protection to Landscape
The District has added two new practices to cost share programs focusing on solutions for urban homeowners. The new programs focus on protecting ground water and program coordinator Ryan Reisdorff says each provides a singular advantage. Click here to read more.
NRD Sponsored Project Focuses On ET
The District has been part of a project funded in conjunction with the Upper Niobrara White and North Platte NRDs and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.
The ETgage® is a tool that can be used to mimic evapotranspiration (ET) rates and this information can be utilized for irrigation management. The online ETgage tool gives collaborators an easy-to-use tool for recording readings. This online tool also provides quick, easy access to readings from a specific location.
Gary Stone, from the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, presented year-two numbers from a three-year Panhandle-wide study on evapotranspiration (ET) and use of atmometers to measure crop water use. Click here to see more about the ET Project. See a PDF of the Project Report.
Also from the Research and Extension Center, Stone and Dr. Gary Hergert provided a short introduction to a new Excel-based program, Water Optimizer, developed by the University.
The program comes from studies done in deficit irrigation to assist agricultural producers determine potential crops, populations, water needs and other factors when full irrigation is not possible.
The University and Panhandle NRDs plan to work together on meetings that will showcase Water Optimizer, display its capabilities and help producers learn how to use it as a management tool. For more information on Water Optimizer, click here.
NARD Conservation Tree Booklet Updated
To further assist you with your conservation tree purchase, the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) and Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) has published the popular and widely distributed Conservation Trees for Nebraska booklet. In it, tree species are represented with excellent color photos (tree aspect and foliage close ups). Descriptions of the tree’s notable features, disease vulnerabilities, and vegetative growing zone information are also included. The 58 page booklet also contains information on weed barrier and control, drip systems, and reference maps to all 23 NRDs and Nebraska Forest Service Districts.
Many species are included in the edition, including as Black Hills Spruce, Southwestern White Pine, Harbin Pear, Northern Catalpa, Pecan, American Hazelnut and many more. A total of 47 species are featured. The booklet also features a quick reference table to all species described within.
Planted properly in appropriate locations, conservation trees protect newborn calves, protect soils, save water, save energy, and provide habitat for wildlife.
Booklets are available at your NRD Office, your nearest NRCS Field Office and UNL Extension offices in Chappell, Kimball and Sidney. It is also available online at http://www.nrdtrees.org/. The booklet is also available as an app for both Apple and Android smart phones. Links are on the nrdtrees site.
SPNRD Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan In Effect
The District-led Multijurisdicational Hazard Mitigation Plan is now in effect, opening the door to participating entities which have needs protecting residents in the event of natural disasters.
Under the Disaster Management Act of 2000, local entities are required to form a Hazard Mitigation Plan to take action before a disaster occurs to reduce or eliminate threats. (Click here to read more)
Program Provides Options To Preserve Area’s Grassland Cover
With the potential expiration of contracts protecting more than 260,000 acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in the Panhandle by 2013, Panhandle natural resources districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have teamed together to preserve regional grassland cover. (Click here to read more)
WANTED: Local weather watchers for NeRAIN
Volunteers are needed in Cheyenne, Deuel and Kimball counties to volunteer for a special project for studying the complex patterns of rain, hail and snow in Nebraska.
NeRAIN, (the Nebraska Rainfall Assessment and Information Network) is looking for volunteers – preferably with Internet access -- willing to report measurements of precipitation using high quality backyard rain gauges. (Click here to read more)
Citizens' Group Monitors Environmental Impact
In keeping with its mission to protect and manage natural recources, one activity the District is involved with is the Citizen’s Monitoring Committee (CMC) at Kimball.
The local group, established by the South Platte NRD and the Kimball community, monitors the environmental impact of operations at Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. (CHESI). (Click here to read more)