Central Platte NRD Board Approves Flood Monitoring Agreement
The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors will continue flood alert and monitoring efforts following approval of the Flood Alert and Monitoring Project Agreement at their monthly meeting on Thursday. The agreement was approved in the amount of $55,000 with JEO. The new agreement separates upcoming monitoring efforts from the current flood alert and monitoring project that is ongoing for the Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores (PSM) Project.
The monitoring equipment will be redeployed in 2021 at the PSM’s detention cell and data loggers will be at the same locations as previous years. Data from the monitoring equipment will be processed and included in the previously developed models. The models will be recalibrated and flood alert maps will be updated for various scenarios. Additional monitoring equipment (boxes, staff gauges, cameras, etc.) may be installed through the project area.
-Interlocal Agreement- Use of Buffalo County Road Right-of-Way The board approved an agreement with Buffalo County for road right-of-way access while updating the Richard Plautz Crane Viewing Site located at the intersection of Elm Island Road and Lowell Road. The site has two elevated wooden crane viewing decks, a 1,650’ nature trail, and a parking lot.
Deteriorated asphalt on the nature trail will be removed and replaced with an 8’ wide, 6” thick concrete trail, and the parking lot will be paved with 8” thick concrete. Repairs on the streambank near the viewing decks will include installation of erosion control silt fencing and quartzite riprap on the southeast side of Lowell Road bridge. Seeding and mulching will also be done once the new nature trail has been reconstructed. The project will begin in May and is scheduled for completion by December 2021.
-College Scholarships The board approved four applications for the CPNRD-Ron Bishop Memorial College Scholarship Program. The scholarship recipients include Joshua Wiese, Shelton; Sydnie Reeves, Archer; Kelton Baxter and Kendrick Baxter, Doniphan. NRD’s college scholarship program was implemented in 2007 and has provided $118,000 to 129 students pursuing a natural resources degree.
-Grazing Deferment Cost-Share Program The Board increased the Grazing Deferment Cost-Share from $15 per acre to $30 per acre with a maximum of $30,000 per landowner. The new amount will be effective July 1, 2021. The Grazing Deferment Program was implemented to provide an incentive for landowners to defer grazing in a pasture for one growing season so that a prescribed burn can be successfully applied in the following year to help in cedar reduction.
–Cease & Desist Orders The board issued Cease and Desist Orders to 53 producers who are out of compliance with the NRD’s Nitrogen Management Program. Richard Urban is a repeat offender and was contacted by the NRD’s legal counsel.
-Soil Request The board voted to decline selling or giving away soil from NRD projects at this time.
-Managers Report Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, reported that the Natural Resources Districts have been removed from Legislative Bill 408, which could have had consequences on budgets in the future. Vogt also reported that LB83e is on Governor Rickett’s desk to be signed and has the emergency clause added. This bill would allow the NRD to hold up to 50 percent of board meetings virtually. Starting July 31, 2022, the bill also requires agendas to be posted on the NRD’s website 24 hours prior to the board meeting and post minutes on the website for at least six months.
-Precision Conservation Management (PCM) A potential partnership was discussed with Precision Conservation Management (PCM) and will be brought before the board for action at a later date. PCM is looking to expand their reach into Nebraska with Frito Lay (PepsiCo) growers in the western area of the District. As a regional partner, the Central Platte NRD would staff a conservation specialist dedicated to technical assistance, data collection, and environmental evaluation. The position would be a five-year minimum commitment, beginning as soon as possible.
Precision Conservation Management (PCM) is a program that serves farmers by providing economic analysis of on-farm conservation practices. The program aims to help farmers understand the economic values of adopting practices such as cover crops, nutrient timing, and tillage practices. PCM originated from the Illinois Corn Growers Association, making up the conservation arm of the entity. PCM is funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
-Natural Resources Conservation Service Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, gave a report for Mike Pavel, Resources Conservationist, who has taken a position with NRCS in Kansas. Krolikowski reported that there are 7 new contracts for CRP, 11 contracts for the Conservation Stewardship Program-Grassland Conservation Initiative, and 41 contracts for EQIP in Buffalo County.
-Cost-Share Five applications for center pivot incentive, flow meters, tree planting, and well decommissioning were approved through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs in the amount of $12,886.60.
-Staff Presentations Dan Clement, Water Resources Specialist, and David Carr, Range Management Specialist, gave presentations on their staff responsibilities.
-2022 FY Budgets The Eastern Projects and Western Projects committees reviewed proposed budgets and forwarded to the Budget Committee.
-Upcoming Board Meetings May 27, June 24, July 22