October 28 Board Meeting

October 15, 2021

Board of Directors Meeting
2:00 p.m.  |  October 28, 2021
Central Platte NRD Office – 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, Nebraska

Farnsworth Updates Central Platte NRD Board on Platte River Recovery Program
Jason Farnsworth, Executive Director of Headwaters Corporation, will update the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s Board of Directors on the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP). The PRRIP is a national species recovery program focused on three bird species (least tern, piping plover, whooping crane) and one fish species (pallid sturgeon).  Farnsworth is leading collaborative efforts to achieve the PRRIP’s water objective of 130,000-150,000 acre-feet a year and land objective of 10,000 acres of habitat.  Headwaters Corporation manages the annual Program budget of over $19 million and serves as the public face of all Program activities.

Farnsworth reported that the PRRIP continues to work on its focus areas of land, water, science, and administration.  The PRRIP is in the process of purchasing roughly 14,000 acres of land within the 3.5 mile reach along the Platte River to help reach their land acquisition goals.  The PRRIP has also shifted their land strategy from buying and restoring habitat to a land management strategy.  The PRRIP has also developed a framework to spend $1.5 million over the next 5 years for Pallid Sturgeon research on the Lower Platte.  They also continue to focus their science efforts on the two other Endangered Species Act (ESA) species (piping plover and whooping cranes) that rely on habitat along the Platte River.


-Audit Report  The board approved the 2020/2021 audit as presented by Jake Klabenes, CPA Audit Director of Lutz Accounting.

-Bessey Nursery   The board approved an agreement with Bessey Nursery that outlines a schedule to provide tree and shrub seedlings to the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts to be used for the purpose of establishing forests, woodlots, windbreaks, and wildlife areas throughout the State of Nebraska.

-Canals Update  Brandi Flyr, Hydrologist, gave an update on the irrigation canals that CPNRD rehabilitated to increase groundwater recharge to enhance surface water and ground water supplies. The rehabilitations provide enhanced flows to the Platte River by diverting and retiming excess flows to the river; returning natural flow irrigation rights to the river; and help meet requirements of the PRRIP agreement and LB962 to return the Platte River to its 1997 level of use.

Flyr reported on CPNRD’s requirements of the PRRIP agreement and reported that the next steps are to take the initial pilot program and move it to a long-term, 30-year agreement.

-Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, reported on the following:

Office Building/Educational Center  The CPNRD board approved requesting an amendment to our formal application for the Upper Prairie Silver Moores flood control project.  This amendment request was approved by the Natural Resources Commission (NRC). The board approved an amendment that allows CPNRD to move funding from land purchased to an educational component.

Census Data  Draft subdistricts were shown to the Board to review and consider approval at the November board of directors meeting to submitting the new boundaries to the counties. Each subdistrict must be substantially equal in population.

Platte River Program – Governance Committee  At the Upper Platte Basin meeting in Kearney on September 28th, Lyndon Vogt was appointed to a three-year term to represent the downstream water users on the Governance Committee.  This will be the beginning of Vogt’s second three-year term.

CPNRD Water Conference  The CPNRD Water Programs Conference will be held on February 8, 2022, at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitors Center at the I-80 Alda (305 Exit).  Additional details and a complete agenda will follow.

-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)  Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, reported on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner.  NRCS is currently renewing CSP contracts and processing payments for other conservation programs.  The deadline to sign-up for CSP is November 19, 2021.

Jason Scholz, Soil Conservationist of Kearney, reported on his background with NRCS and that the deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is November 19, 2021.

-Nebraska Association of Resources District  Jim Bendfeldt, CPNRD Representative, had no report to give.

-Nebraska Natural Resources Commission  Mick Reynolds, Middle Platte Basin Representative, reported that 14 projects were approved by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) and scoring would take place on November 9, 2021.

-Cost-Share  Ten applications for underground pipe, flow meters, center pivots, and well decommissioning were approved for the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs in the amount of $31,576.

-Upcoming Board Meetings  November 18, December 16, January 27