|Central Platte NRD to Host Public Information Meetings on Proposed Changes to the Groundwater Management Plan
At Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) Board of Directors October meeting, General Manager Lyndon Vogt reported that staff will meet with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Friday, October 28th, to discuss questions and concerns on the proposed changes to the CPNRD’s Groundwater Management Plan. Public information meetings are also scheduled to review the changes with the public on November 10th in Central City and November 15th in Kearney. Vogt said the board will likely consider approval of the Plan in December or January after considering comments from the DNR and the public. Details on the public information meetings are available at www.cpnrd.org/about/events or by calling (308) 385-6282.
2021/2022 Audit The Board approved the 2021/2022 audit as presented by Jake Klabenes, CPA Audit Director of Lutz Accounting.
Irrigation Violations Vogt reported that CPNRD received the latest imagery flown this summer that will be used to examine fields of four remaining violators. Vogt also provided updates on the following compliance issues: a tenant/landowner miscommunication regarding NRD reports has been rectified and should be resolved going forward. Two other producers that violated cease and desist orders filed by CPNRD are now in compliance with the NRD’s Groundwater Management Rules and Regulations. Penalties as a result of the violations will be enforced.
Programs Committee The Programs Committee met to discuss the Urban Conservation Program regarding recent inquiries about the Program’s public/private use criteria. No action was taken by the Board.
Water Utilization Committee The Water Utilization committee met to review and discuss a draft water service agreement between the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District, Tri-Basin NRD and Central Platte NRD. Action on the agreement will not be considered until the November Board meeting.
Assistant Manager’s Report Jesse Mintken, Assistant Manager, provided a report on the progress of current projects including Elm/Turkey Creeks WFPO, Lower Wood River WFPO, Spring/Buffalo Creeks WFPO, Hazard Mitigation Plan, Platte Valley Industrial Park, Alda Crane Viewing Site and Dam Rehabilitations.
Central Nebraska Regenerative Ag Conference Vogt reported that CPNRD is providing financial support for the Central Nebraska Regenerative Ag Conference with keynote speaker Gabe Brown to be held Friday, November 18th in Holdrege. The conference will also include information about the power of the soil to sequester carbon and reduce climate change with Keith Bern’s “Carbonomics” presentation, and local producers will share their successes implementing soil health practices. Those interested in attending may contact (308) 995-8133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NARD Annual Conference Jim Bendfeldt, CPNRD Director of Kearney, was inducted into the Nebraska Natural Resources District Hall of Fame during the awards ceremony in September. Barry Obermiller, Grand Island, was recognized for 25 years of service.
Nebraska Natural Resources Commission Mick Reynolds, Middle Platte Basin Representative, reported that 11 projects were approved for funding through the Water Sustainability Fund including (3) large projects totaling $7,503,575.13; (7) small projects totaling $1,301,928; and Omaha’s CSO project $1,086,503.30. Reynolds said $3,623,832.87 was borrowed from next year’s allocation to fund these projects.
Natural Resources Conservation Service Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, reported the NRCS is working on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract renewals. The existing contracts held by producers throughout the CPNRD and state that have the option to renew their contract for another 5 years, or let it expire and then possibly reapply later. CSP provides incentives to improve grazing conditions, increase crop yields and develop wildlife habitat. The application deadline for current funding is November 18th. If interested contact your local NRCS field office for more information.
Janelle Taubenheim, Resource Conservationist-Kearney Field Office, provided updates on wetland restoration projects, cover crops, grazing projects, high tunnel systems, pivots, SDI and windbreaks.
Cost-Share Seven applications were approved in the amount of $14,250.50 for center pivot incentives, cover crops and well decommissioning through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs.
*Board of Directors Meetings November 17, December 15, January 26
*CPNRD Annual Water Programs Update February 16, 2023, at the Merrick County Fairgrounds