A Monthly Publication of the Nebraska Environmental Trust
Dave Heineman, Governor
Board of Trustees
In This Issue:
Executive Director Corner
The summer is almost over and the schools are going back into session. Kids are sad their summer vacation is ending and some parents are probably glad to see the kids getting back into the learning environment, while others will miss the extra help at home, especially on farms and ranches across the state.
The State Fair in Grand Island is just two weeks away and if you go, be sure and check out the new building just inside the west entrance. The south end is now the new home to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and you will be surprised to find a waterfall and mini-mountain with stream. A portable aquarium holding almost 6,000 gallons of water and many of Nebraska’s fish will also greet you. There is an archery range and air rifle range along with many educational opportunities in the area. The Trust is proud to be one of the sponsors of the aquarium and waterfall exhibits.
The north portion of the building celebrates agriculture and there is everything from a full section of a center pivot to a grain bin serving as a theater. The Department of Agriculture, agricultural groups and the University of Nebraska have a lot of surprises for fairgoers.
Marilyn and I continue meeting with potential grant applicants every day. Don’t forget the September 2nd deadline.
Husker fans are getting excited. Let’s hope there is plenty to cheer about in football and volleyball this season. Maybe Sheila or I will see you at the fair.
Mark A. Brohman
Henry "Rick" Brandt Appointed New Chairman of the Trust
Henry “Rick” Brandt of Roca was recently elected Chairman of Nebraska Environmental Trust Board during the July 18, 2014 Board Meeting held in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. A board member from the state’s first congressional district, Rick has served on the Environmental Trust’s Board since March 2013.
Commenting on his recent appointment, Mr. Brandt said, “I am so honored to serve on the Trust Board as Chairman and am looking forward to working with a dynamic group of individuals. This past year, we all have witnessed the benefits of lottery proceeds being used for the good of the environment all across the State of Nebraska. We will continue with this mission for all Nebraskans to enjoy.”
Rick has a degree in Music and a minor in Wildlife management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Post Graduate degree in Music Performance from Hartt School of Music in Hartford Connecticut and New York City.
For seven years, he held the position of Chairman for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for Nebraska. He is a contributor and supporter of Ducks Unlimited, White Tails and the Turkey Federation. He is also one of the four founders and current President of the Nebraska Big Game Society. He and his wife Sharon have worked on many projects for the Nebraska Game and Parks in land purchases, easements and big game monitoring.
His passion is riding his mule, Trax, tracking sheep at Fort Robinson in Northwest Nebraska and riding the Yellowstone country with his wife Sharon.
The Trust Board is comprised of 14 members representing the State of Nebraska and its citizens. Nine citizen representatives are appointed by the Governor to serve six year terms. Three representatives are chosen from each congressional district, serve without pay and represent a wide variety of natural resource interests. Five agency directors make up the remaining seats on the board to provide coordination with existing state resources. A staff of five handles the day-to-day activities of the organization.
Trust Announces Geo Points for 2015 Grant Cycle
In a continuing effort to support natural resource projects across Nebraska, the board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust will award bonus points to 2015 grant applicants in only one of the seven geographical areas across the state. The geographical map of Nebraska showing the seven districts can be seen on the Trust website at: www.environmentaltrust.org .
Revision to Grant Forms
Minor revisions have been made to the grant application forms. Applicants are reminded to be mindful of these new revisions when submitting their applications next month.
Please review these revised forms on our webpage:
Cozad Canal and Thirty Mile Canal Rehabilitations
Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) efforts to conjunctively manage ground water and surface water were spurred by Legislative Bill (LB) 962 and the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program. CPNRD determined that the best way to employ conjunctive management, without taking irrigated acres out of production, was to partner with surface water irrigation projects in the district by purchasing water rights to balance water that is being used with the water that is available. This approach enables irrigators to use surface water in a wet year and recharge the groundwater with those surface water diversions. In a dry year, irrigators can use groundwater and leave the surface water in the river to meet other uses including those of endangered species that use the river.
Two of these projects are the Cozad Canal and Thirty Mile Canal in Dawson County. CPNRD partnered with the Cozad Ditch Company, which owns water rights dating back to 1894, to manage the Cozad Canal and lease unused surface water flows from the canal back into the Platte River. The partnership with Thirty Mile Irrigation District differs in that it includes a purchase agreement. CPNRD paid $1.9 million for half interest in the irrigation system, including the district’s water rights, buildings and equipment. As with Cozad, the NRD will use the canals before and after the irrigation season to hold diverted off-season excess Platte River flows when available.
The canals needed to be completely reshaped for efficient irrigation delivery and river diversions. A tremendous amount of trees were grubbed, the canals were regraded and new structures were placed.
Cozad with Trees
Cozad Without Trees
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and the Nebraska Environmental Trust covered 60 percent of project costs while CPNRD and the canal companies each paid 20 percent.
The partnerships between the canal companies and the CPNRD resulted in increased Platte River flows, while keeping all water users whole. This project is a model for other entities in Nebraska, and showcases what can happen when ground water and surface water users work toward a common goal.
National DEA Medication Take-back Day
Proper medication disposal is important to protect our aquatic environment, reduce the risk of accidental poisonings, and to deter illegal drug diversion in our communities. There are 40 different pharmacies in Lincoln-Lancaster County that can take back your leftover medications such as non-controlled and over-the-counter pills, creams, ointments, and inhalers year round. Ask your local pharmacy, visit www.leftovermeds.com , or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 to find a medication disposal location near you.
Currently pharmacies are not legally allowed to collect your controlled medications (e.g. narcotics, amphetamines) for disposal. But, on September 27th from 10 am-2 pm there will be a National DEA Medication Take-Back Day that allows the collection of all leftover medications including controlled substances. To find a location near you please visit www.dea.gov or call
Lincoln-Lancaster County DEA Take-Back Locations for September 27th from 10 am-2 pm:
- August 22 - September 1, 2014 - Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island
- September 2, 2014 (Tuesday) - General and Recognition Grant Application Deadline
- September 6, 2014 (Saturday) - World O' Water Fest, Omaha, NE.
- September 9-11, 2014 (Tuesday - Thursday) - Husker Harvest Days, Grand Island
- September 20-21, 2014 - Ponca Outdoor Expo, Ponca State Park, Ponca, Nebraska.
- November 6, 2014 (Thursday) - 4th Quarter Board Meeting, Ferguson House, Lincoln