50th Anniversary Wrap Up

June 17, 2022

Thank you for helping us celebrate our 50th Anniversary!
Governor Ricketts proclaimed the week of July 11th as “NRD Week” to recognize the 50th Anniversary of Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts. The NRDs were established by the Nebraska Legislature in 1972 to replace 154 special purpose districts.
 Good Life Interview with General Manager Lyndon Vogt   |       NTV-Steve White Event Coverage     |   NCN Event Coverage
Kearney Hub-Mike Konz

Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele declared  “NRD Week” Proclamation

INDOOR BOOTHS featuring the NRD’s progress since 1972:
~ Water Management 
GIS Irrigation Imagery, Flood Control, Irrigation Nitrate Sampling, Management Plans
~ Education   Schematic Design of proposed Education Center/Office, Education Activities
~ Soil moisture Monitoring   See monitoring equipment over the years


~Prescribed Fire  CPNRD’s prescribed fire trucks and gear
~Trees  NRD tree cooler,  tree planting machine, weed barrier & fabric laying equipment, cost-share info & more


Backpack Coolers –CPNRD  Larry Hansen, Michael Obermiller, Rita Czaplewski, Roger Franzen, Nyah Hosier
Travel Mugs – Gibbon Chamber of Commerce   Eileen Steinbeck, Curt Maloney
Silver Maple Wood & Turquoise Candy/Key Dish – Grand Island Chamber of Commerce   Abi Hosier
Kearneyopoly – Kearney Chamber of Commerce  (6 winners)  Chris Seim, David Steinbeck, Hudsyn Hasselmann, Ronald Gewecke, Janet Speck, Max England
Denali Fishing Pole, Walleye Nation Lures – APEX Marine of Grand Island  Dennis Ewolt
Turkey Creek Float Trip Gift Certificates – Kearney Paddle Sports (3 winners)  Robin Bailey, Julie Frandsen, Abi Hansen
Pony Express Package – Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce  (3 winners)
   GOLF PACKAGE: Wild Horse Golf Club pass and Titleist golf balls  Nick Lammers
  BUCKET BAG & CUPS   Alfred Engel
   FOOD PACKAGE: Frito-Lay, Old Depot Vineyard & Winery, Long’s Pure Honey Macey Schroeder
KIDS PACKAGE  Ashton Hasselmann
GRAND PRIZE   * RTIC 52 quart light-weight cooler  – CPNRD  Alfred Engel

How Central Platte NRD was Formed
When Nebraska joined the Union in 1867, natural resources issues were treated as issues of property and often pitted neighbor against neighbor, so the Nebraska Legislature was asked to provide solutions to specific problems. The Legislature usually responded by creating a special-purpose governmental unit that could resolve an issue, but often without sufficient authority or funding to provide effective long-term solutions. By the late 1960s, Nebraska had over 500 special purpose districts including: irrigation, drainage, soil conservation, watershed, rural water, watershed improvement boards, reclamation, sanitary improvement districts and sanitary drainage districts. In addition, state agencies were empowered to deal with some natural resources issues. The solution was for the state to create a unique system of natural resources districts (local government districts) that could deal with a wide variety of natural resource-related problems and opportunities.

In 1972, 24 NRDs (now 23) were established to replace 154 special purpose districts. The designated Mid-Platte East NRD covered portions of the Platte Valley that were being served by four watershed districts and several Soil and Water Conservation Districts in an 11-county area. One of the first acts by the district’s board of directors was to change the NRD’s name to Central Platte Natural Resources District. The city of Grand Island was selected by the first board as the headquarters. Ron Bishop, general manager of the watershed district, became the first general manager. Lyndon Vogt was hired as general manager in June 2013 when Bishop retired. Vogt was previously manager of the Upper Niobrara White NRD in Chadron and Lower Niobrara in Butte.

District Location Central Platte is one of 23 natural resources districts in Nebraska. It lies in the south central part of Nebraska, straddling the Platte River. There are 2,136,304 acres in the district. CPNRD extends for about 175 miles from the Lincoln-Dawson county line on the west near Gothenburg, to Hwy 81 on the east near Columbus. Eleven counties have land included in the district including all of Dawson County and parts of Frontier, Custer, Buffalo, Howard, Hall, Nance, Merrick, Hamilton, Platte, Polk.

Each district is autonomous, governed by a locally-elected board of directors. While NRDs share a common set of responsibilities, each district sets its own priorities and develops its own programs to best serve local needs. The Board of Directors is elected to protect and preserve the wide scope of natural resources within the district. CPNRD has 21 directors, each serving a four-year term. Two directors serve in each of the 10 sub-districts and one serves as the at-large member. Directors in the same subdistrict are elected in alternate election years. Each director serves on two of the District’s committees for water quality, water utilization, eastern projects, western projects, programs and variance/appeals.

NRD Authorities By Law

  1. Erosion prevention and control.
  2. Prevention of damages from flood water and sediment.
  3. Flood prevention and control.
  4. Soil conservation.
  5. Water supply for any beneficial uses.
  6. Development, management, utilization and conservation of groundwater and surface water.
  7. Pollution control.
  8. Solid waste disposal/sanitary drainage.
  9. Drainage improvement/channel rectification.
  10. Development/management fish and wildlife habitat.
  11. Development/management recreational and park facilities.
  12. Forestry and range management.

The NRD strives to conserve and preserve natural resources for the residents of central Nebraska.  Funding that CPNRD receives from local property taxes allows the NRD to implement flood control projects, water quality and water quantity programs, soil health, tree planting, wildlife restoration areas and many other natural resources benefits.  The Central Platte NRD’s total operating budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year was $24.5 million with the required property tax of $3.9 million; a decrease of $73,396.65 compared to the 2021 budget. Total valuations received from the District’s 11 county assessors increased 1.667% to $17,947,588,662. With the levy set at 0.022196, a homeowner with property assessed at $100,000 will pay $22.20 for natural resources benefits.

To learn more about the 50th Anniversary or the Central Platte NRD call (308) 385-6282 or stop by our office at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island.