CPNRD Approves Crop Evapotranspiration Study with UNL
(GRAND ISLAND, NE) – The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board approved an amendment with UNL in the amount of $343,259 to continue the Nebraska Water and Energy Flux Measurement, Modeling and Research Network (NEBFLUX) study at their monthly meeting on Thursday. The Project has been measuring actual evapotranspiration rates of various vegetation surfaces by utilizing advanced techniques to measure surface energy fluxes, microclimatic variables, plant physiological parameters, soil water content, surface characteristics, and their interactions for various vegetation surfaces in the CPNRD since 2007. The information collected is used for CPNRD’s Groundwater Management Program; which is based on crop water use, or consumptive use. This amendment extends the project through June 2020.
OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS
-Bioblitz Request The board approved a request from Kearney High School (KHS) and the University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) in the amount of $1,000 to design and develop a wetland to be named the Kearney Outdoor Learning Area (KOLA). On April 22, 2017, KHS and UNK students will collect, analyze, and record ecosystem and natural resources data in an area south of KHS to be transformed into a wetland later this year. The BioBlitz will allow students to establish a baseline of data by which to measure ecosystem and wildlife changes over the years.
-Non-Disturbance Agreement The board approved a non-disturbance agreement with SoCore Energy, Chicago, so that their project, located south of the Kearney Northeast Flood Control Project’s easement area, can move forward.
-Contract Modification The board approved a change order on the Upper Prairie/Silver/ Moores Flood Control Project in the amount of $344,000 to remove additional soil and tree roots along 200 feet of the detention cell on both sides of Silver Creek. The additional work during Phase I will simplify and reduce Phase II construction costs.
-College Scholarships The board awarded ten college scholarships in the amount of $1,000 per student through the CPNRD-Ron Bishop College Scholarship Program to: Dillon Vogt, Grand Island; Alex Stocker, Grand Island; Jason Line, Miller; McKinley Harm, Gothenburg; Mitchell Glause, St. Libory; Carson Schultz, Wood River; Isabella Gomez, Central City; Blake Williams, Doniphan; Sage Williams, Eddyville; Chandler Flynn, Lexington. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be majoring in a natural resources field.
-Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Mark Czaplewski, biologist, reported that the Program’s Governance Committee is starting to prioritize water supply options that will take the place of what was earlier envisioned to be accomplished by the J2 Regulating Reservoir Project, including broad scale recharge projects and slurry wall storage projects. Czaplewski said the first broad scale recharge project will be on 400 acres of land owned by NPPD’s Cottonwood Ranch property east of Overton. Details on possible locations for slurry wall projects are being worked out, however, to accomplish the Program’s water goals, five to eight sites may be needed. The first such site will be used as a pilot/demonstration project and costs are estimated between $5-6 million range. CPNRD has contributed to a portion of those Nebraska shares and could choose to fund a portion of the new projects. The Committee continues to discuss plans to extend the First Increment to 2032 to allow the Program to continue work on these water goals. New federal funding and new funding from Colorado and Wyoming would be needed.
-Variance/Appeal Request The board denied an appeal from Nance County.
-Cost Share The board approved 19 cost share applications in the amount of $25,256.75 for tree planting, soil moisture sensors, prescribed burns, grazing deferment, and well decommissioning through the CPNRD and Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation cost share programs.
-May Board Meeting The May board meeting was moved to June 1st due to a conflict with the Groundwater Management District Association conference.
-NRCS Report Joe Krolikowski, NRCS district liaison, recently held their FY2018 Local Work Group meeting to develop recommendations to the NRCS State Conservationist on how conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) would be used most effectively in their area. Recommendations include special target areas, cost share rates, which conservation practices should have cost assistance, and/or how many dollars could be needed. This work group allows local input into how Federal dollars are spent.
-Committee Reviews The Programs, Eastern Projects, and Western Projects committees reviewed FY 2017-2018 budget recommendations. The three committees also reviewed a draft policy on project funding requests.
-Monarch Habitat Marcia Lee, information/education specialist, reported on a Monarch Habitat Learning Area that was planted on March 23 along an easement of the Wood River Flood Control Project, on the west side of the South Locust Street Bridge in Grand Island, Nebraska. Due to loss of natural habitat, herbicide use and destruction of milkweed plants, the Monarch Butterfly population is decreasing rapidly. A multi-agency partnership between CPNRD, GISH Success Academy, Roots N’ Shoots, Walnut Middle School, Pheasants Forever, and the Nebraska Wildlife Federation aims to provide migrating Monarchs with food, water, and shelter. In the fall of 2017, the agencies will provide an educational workshop for students to educate them about using the site to conduct scientific observation and data collection.