News

September Board Meeting

September 2, 2022

Board of Directors Meeting
September 22, 2022  
Central Platte NRD   215 Kaufman Ave  Grand Island NE

Revisions Approved to Urban Conservation Program Central Platte NRD Board

The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) Board of Directors approved revisions to the ranking priorities for the Urban Conservation Program at their monthly meeting on Thursday. The Board will now accept applications year-round, removing the March 1st deadline, and added new recreation, safety, and education features to the funding priorities.  CPNRD’s Urban Conservation Program was developed in 2017 as a cost-share program to assist cities, villages, and counties within the NRD to establish or improve public recreational areas. Projects that are approved receive 50% cost-share of eligible project costs up to a maximum of $40,000.  Communities that have received funds through this program include Grand Island, Kearney, Gothenburg, Lexington and Cairo.

The Urban Conservation Program has two cost-share programs for communities. The Recreation Area Development Program is designed to assist sponsors with the acquisition of land or land rights, and to establish, develop and improve public recreational areas. The Trails Assistance Program is designed for trail projects that have received approval for funding under the Transportation Enhancement Program administered by the Nebraska Department of Roads or the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Details and applications are available at: cpnrd.org/cost-share/urban-conservation.

-Manager’s Report  Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, provided the following report:

Nitrogen Use Efficiency Dashboard  Staff will give a presentation at the Nebraska Association of Resources District’s (NARD) annual conference on the nitrogen use dashboard created by CPNRD. UNL and Corteva are also doing presentations on their nitrogen use dashboard programs at the conference. UNL has scheduled a meeting with CPNRD and NARD to discuss nitrogen dashboard options and uses.

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Grasslands Conservation Grant  The NRDs and Rainwater Basin Joint Venture will begin working on grazing lands management agreements with individuals interested in using prescribed fire to improve their grazing. David Carr, Range Management Specialist, is managing the grant.

Corps of Engineers (COE) and Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy Meeting  A meeting was held at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant (CHAAP) to review their cleanup procedures and process. All extraction wells were shut down November 2019. The current analysis shows that the RDX plume is shrinking and concentrations are declining. Groundwater is continuing to be monitored. NDEE reported on a groundwater study in the Archer area where landowners were concerned about groundwater contamination from CHAAP. The study showed no evidence of contaminates in any of the water samples. Arsenic, iron, and manganese are the three major contaminates that were found in the water samples.

Public Information Meetings  The Groundwater Management Plan was sent to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for review. CPNRD will host two information meetings to review the changes to the Plan with the public on November 10th in Central City and November 15th in Kearney. The board will likely consider approval of the plan rewrite in December or January.  The annual Water Programs Update is scheduled for February 16, 2023, at the Merrick County fairgrounds.

Integrated Management Plan  The five NRDs in the Upper Platte Basin have had regular meetings with DNR, NPPD and CNPP&ID. The goal is to develop a reasonable agreement to address the over appropriated designation in the basin.

-Long Range Implementation Plan   The 2022-2027 Long Range Implementation Plan was approved and will be submitted to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. The Plan summarizes district activities including projections of financial, manpower and land right needs of the district for the next five years and is updated annually as required by the Nebraska Natural Resources District Act.  The Plan may be downloaded at: cpnrd.org/about/management-plans.

-Natural Resources Conservation Service  Jason Scholz, Resource Conservationist of Grand Island, reported on the 2022 FY Hall County Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funding and contracts for irrigation projects. Scholz reported that 10 contracts were obligated for total of $579,174. Three were Irrigation Water Management (IWM) only (254.2 acres) and seven were system conversions, which included 637.3 acres converted from gravity, 491.5 acres to pivot and 145.8 acres to Sub-surface Drip Irrigation. The IWM included 891.5 acres and temporary dryland on 83.7 acres. Other NRD irrigation projects in Hall County:

  • $653,621.92 approved for 18 projects.
    • 1,215.2 acres converted from gravity irrigation.
    • IWM to be completed on 1,274.8 Ac. Temporary dryland to be completed on 83.7 Ac. Each for three years.
    • Cost share completed on a total of 1,553.1 Ac.

Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, reported that the 2023 application deadline is November 18, 2022, and provided EQIP and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) district-wide activities. In total, there were 68 contracts in the amount of $2,525,458 on 17,058.6 acres. Activities per field office:
Central City  9 contracts -$377,317–1,271.1acres    Grand Island  11 contracts -$580,508 –1,117.5 acres
Kearney  24 contracts -$523,810 –6,635.0 acres       Lexington  24 contracts -$1,043,823 –8,035.0acres
District Contracts
• Water Conservation: $1,924,569 (31 contracts on 4,137.6 acres)
• Grazing Lands: $287,502 (11 contracts/4,948.9 acres)
• Brush Mgt/Prescribed Burn/Water Supply/X-Fence/PGS
• Soil Health: $270,045 (18 contracts/4,574.6 acres)
• Conservation Activity Plans: $9,743 (5 contracts/3,343.0 acres)
• Prescribed Burn Management Plans
• Forestry: $16,715.41 (1 contracts/37.4 acres)

-Cost-Share  Five applications through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs were approved for center pivot, flow meters, cover crop and well decommissioning in the amount of $10,050.

-New Committee  The Board formed a Nitrogen and Crop Report Committee. Members include Keith Ostermeier (Chairman), Doug Reeves, Deb VanMatre and Marvion Reichert.