Two Public Hearings-August 31st

Two public hearings will be held prior to the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors meeting on Thursday, August 31, 2017. The first hearing, scheduled at 12:30 p.m., will be held on the NRD’s Groundwater Management Rules and Regulations. The proposed changes would combine and update the Rules and Regulations for all the District’s groundwater management programs into one document including: Fully and Over Appropriated, Water Quality, Water Quantity and Chemigation programs. Other changes include cease and desist enforcement procedures, removal of the 2 in 10 irrigation rule, and removal of the sections referencing wells and irrigation run-off procedures (due to redundancy). A red-lined version of the document is published on the CPNRD website: www.cpnrd.org. The second hearing will be held at 12:50 p.m. to approve setting the rate (levy) for the 2017/2018 fiscal budget. Both hearings will be held at CPNRD’s office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. The board of directors meeting will start at 1:00 p.m. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Programs Committee- The committee will discuss possible changes to the college scholarship program and conservation awards, and review applications and ranking priorities for a new urban conservation cost share program. The committee will also consider sponsor requests from NRCS for a Soil Health Conference to be held September 6 in Albion; and from UNL for the Plains Safaris Conference to be held April 18-20, 2018 in Kearney. -Kearney Whitewater Association  Bruce Karnatz will give an update to the board. -Natural Resources Conservation Service  Joe Krolikowski, district liaison, will report to the board. -Hazard Mitigation Plan  Jesse Mintken, assistant manager, will give...

NRDs to Present Wildlife CSI at Nebraska State Fair

Six of Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) will present Wildlife CSI in the Sustainability Pavilion at the Nebraska State Fair. Participants will use animal tracking, skull and bone identification, scatology, animal evidence and observation in the natural world. “Scenes” will be set up and participants will be asked to investigate what happened, what animal came first, and predator and prey evidence. Participants will be given an investigation form and asked to determine what crime occurred at each site.  The investigation form includes information on the various tracks that might occur at a crime scene.  Fairgoers of all ages are invited to participate in this activity. The Sustainability Pavilion is located in the outdoor Market Place close to the Heartland Event Center, the Fonner Concourse, Cactus Jack’s Chuck Wagon, Knights of Columbus Bingo, and the Fonner 4H Café. The tent will also have live presentations, interactive make & take activities as well as static educational exhibits. The Central Platte NRD of Grand Island, Little Blue NRD of Davenport, Lower Loup NRD of Ord, Lower Niobrara NRD of Butte, Lower Republican NRD of Alma, and South Platte NRD of Sidney will present from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. from Monday, August 28-Monday, September 4. Nebraska’s natural resources districts are local government entities with broad responsibilities to protect our natural resources. Major Nebraska river basins form the boundaries of the 23 NRDs, enabling districts to respond best to local conservation and resource management needs. Nebraska’s NRDs protect lives, protect property, and protect the future of Nebraska’s natural...

High Tech Sensors in Action Featured Aug. 16th

Growers will learn how to outfit and implement high tech sensors at the August 16th Project SENSE update in Chapman, NE.  Project SENSE (Sensors for Efficient Nitrogen Use and Stewardship of the Environment) is a pilot program that focuses on improving the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer use. Strategies which determine nitrogen in crops at early growth stages are showing a promising way to improve nitrogen fertilizer efficiency and lower groundwater nitrate levels.  Growers will see a demonstration of the project’s high clearance nitrogen applicator outfitted with active crop canopy sensors and will see the high-tech sensors in action.  Attendees will learn how producers are conducting research trials on their own fields in partnership with the Project SENSE team. The update will take place from 10:00 a.m.-Noon on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at the Ken Seim Farm in Chapman, NE. The public is invited to attend. A complimentary noon meal will be served. Drone Demo An eBee SQ drone demonstration is a new addition to the SENSE field day this year.  The demonstration will include how to build a flight plan, calibrate the camera, launch the drone, and post flight imagery analysis.  This year, for SENSE sites had an extra treatment added that the nitrogen application was directed by the drone imagery and applied by the SENSE applicator during the same event as OptRx™ sensors were being used. Future Use In the future, drone imagery will be used to help direct nitrogen recommendations during the season.  This in-season application will most likely be targeted for fertigation through a pivot but could be turned into an application map and used in...

CPNRD’s Tax Asking Down Nearly $468,000

The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors adopted an amended 2018 fiscal year budget in the amount of $22.5 million on Thursday. The property tax request is down $467,542.73, compared to last year’s budget, and the projected levy is also expected to be down. A levy hearing will be held at 12:50 p.m. just prior to the August 31st board of directors meeting.  Property taxes received by the CPNRD provide funding towards flood control, nitrate management, soil health, cost share to producers, recreation, education, and other natural resources benefits. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Rules & Regulations Public Hearing- Groundwater management regulations may be easier to follow if proposed changes to the Groundwater Management Rules and Regulations are approved next month. The proposed changes would combine and update the rules and regulations for all the District’s groundwater management programs into one document including the Fully and Over Appropriated, Water Quality, Water Quantity and Chemigation programs.  Cease and desist enforcement procedures, removal of the 2 in 10 irrigation rule, and removal of the sections referencing wells and irrigation run-off procedures are other proposed changes. The proposed changes are published here. A public hearing is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at the CPNRD’s office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. -Chemigation Violation The board approved issuing a Cease & Desist Order to Jim Aden of Gothenburg. Aden is in violation of chemigating without a permit. -Legal Action A motion was approved to have the District’s attorney proceed with enforcement against Kelly Smith of Custer County. -Variance Request The board denied a variance request in...

July Board Agenda

The Central Platte NRD Board of Directors will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, 2017.  The board of directors meetings are open to the public and held at the CPNRD office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. July Board Agenda 1. NRCS Report Janelle Taubenheim, Resources Conservationist, and Jason Schultz, summer intern, will report to the board. 2. 2017/2018 Budget   A) Budget Committee – Review proposed budget. Any recommendations for amendments will be presented at the public hearing.   B) Action – Following the public hearing, the board will need to take action to adopt the proposed or amended budget.   C) Public Hearing – Schedule time for public hearing to set the property tax levy. 3. Variance/Appeals Recommendation on a variance request in Buffalo/Hall counties. 4. Programs Committee Discussion and possible recommendations:   A) Scholarship Program- proposed changes.   B) Conservation Awards- proposed changes.   C) Urban Development- process/application for new cost share program. 5. Water Resources Committee Discussion and possible recommendations:   A) Rules & Regulations- proposed changes.   B) Public Hearing- Date/Time   C) Chemigation Violation- request for Cease & Desist. 6. Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Jim Bendfeldt will report. 7. Nebraska Natural Resources Commission Mick Reynolds will report. 8. Cost Share The board will take action on cost share requests. 9. Financial Report Action will be taken on the July financial report. 10. Other As may develop prior to the board...

Discussion on Proposed Changes to Irrigation Rules & Regs

Central Platte NRD to Discuss Proposed Changes to Irrigation Rules & Regulations (GRAND ISLAND, NE) Changes to the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) Groundwater Management Rules and Regulations will be discussed by the board’s Water Resources Committee on July 27th. The proposed changes would combine and update the Rules and Regulations for all the District’s groundwater management programs into one document including: Fully and Over Appropriated, Water Quality, Water Quantity and Chemigation programs. Other specific changes include: -Changes to cease and desist enforcement procedures. -Removal of the 2 in 10 irrigation rule. -Removal of the sections referencing wells and irrigation run-off procedures (redundancy). A red-lined version of the document is available here. The Water Resources Committee will report their recommendations at the board of directors meeting; which is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the CPNRD’s office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Budget- The Budget Committee will review the 2018 Fiscal budget. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled at 1:45 p.m. just prior to the board meeting. The board will act to adopt the proposed budget of expenditures or the amended budget after the public hearing has been closed. -Programs Committee- The committee will discuss possible changes to the scholarship program and conservation awards. The committee will also begin discussion on the process and application for a new urban development cost share program. -Natural Resources Conservation Service  Janelle Taubenheim, Resources Conservationist, and Jason Schultz, summer intern, will report to the board. -Nebraska Natural Resources Commission  Mick Reynolds, Middle Platte Basin representative, will report. -Nebraska Association...

Proposed Changes to Rules & Regs

At the June board of directors meeting, the board received recommended changes to the Central Platte NRD’s Ground Water Management Program including: -Changes to cease and desist enforcement procedures. -Removal of the 2 in 10 irrigation rule. -Two sections referencing wells and  irrigation run-off procedures removed because of redundancy. Click here for a PDF with red-line changes. The board will review and discuss the changes in July with a public hearing to be held tentatively prior to the August 31st board of directors...

Spring Water Levels Down Slightly

The Central Platte Natural Resources District released their spring 2017 static water level results at their June board of directors meeting on June 22, 2017. The accumulated change since 1982 is 0.85 feet lower district-wide. Groundwater levels are measured annually from mid-April to mid-June. CPNRD’s Groundwater Management Plan uses 1982 static groundwater levels as the base levels. Implemented in 1987, the Plan established maximum acceptable declines and a margin of safety for each of the District’s 24 Ground Water Management Areas (GWMA).  Luke Zakrzewski, GIS image analyst, reported that 15 of the GWMAs are above the 1982 groundwater levels and the remaining nine areas are below the set standards. Zakrzewski said Dawson County had both the largest decline and the largest increase with northern Dawson and Buffalo counties (GWMA #9) down 12.15 feet, and southwest Dawson (GWMA #5) with an increase of 12.36 feet since 1982. As a proactive measure, the Plan has a trigger set that suspends supplemental wells and transfers into areas that have reached a 25 percent acceptable decline.  Merrick County has one management area (#18) with two consecutive years above the 25 percent acceptable decline trigger and will now allow new transfers of irrigated acres and supplemental wells; while the southern management area (#19) has reverted to the 25 percent acceptable decline trigger regulations.  Map Six of the 24 GWMAs are currently in the 25 percent decline suspension.  If the water table would fall to 50 percent of the maximum decline, Phase II would go into effect requiring mandatory reductions in irrigated acres and spacing limits for new irrigation wells would be established. The Central...

Hooker Bros Awarded Bid on Flood Control Project

Hooker Brothers Awarded Bid on Flood Control Project Hooker Brothers Construction Company of Grand Island was awarded the Phase II construction bid for the Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Creek Flood Control Detention Cell Project in Hall County in the amount of $2,246,959.00. The bid was awarded at the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors meeting on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Nine bids were received to excavate 1,036,300 million cubic yards of dirt for the detention cell. Hooker Brothers had the low bid, which was $1,175,041 below the engineer’s estimate. Construction will begin in mid-July and be completed by May 1, 2018. A bid letting will be held this fall for construction of the levy to be located on Engleman Road. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -UNL Vadose Zone Nitrate Study  Dr. Dan Snow, director of Water Sciences Laboratory, UNL, gave a progress report on the Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) Vadose Zone Nitrate Study at CPNRD’s board of directors meeting on Thursday. Core samples were collected for vadose zone nitrate including some areas that were sampled in the 1990s. The report showed locations of the first eight core samples collected with comparison of nitrate profiles to previous time periods, and estimation of nitrate transport rates at each location. As part of this three-year vadose zone study, approximately 27 sites collected across the CPNRD between 1990 and 1996 have been digitized and are being used to compare recent profiles at these sites to determine how fast nitrate is moving and whether changing land use management has resulted in reduced loading of nitrate in the vadose zone. These sites are all being...

Changes to Title Search/Transfer Fees

Central Platte NRD Changes Title Search/Transfer Fees Policy (GRAND ISLAND, NE) – The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board made changes to how the District handles title searches and transfer fees at their monthly meeting on Thursday.  Landowners who transfer more than four certified irrigated acres (not on the same contiguous track of land), will be responsible for providing a copy of their title search to CPNRD, effective immediately. The transfer fee for the CPNRD to file transfers with the appropriate county courthouse will now be $200 for single county transfers and $250 for multi-county transfers. The previous policy required landowners to pay $325 for the District’s attorney to do a title search to gather all of the appropriate signatures and file the paperwork with the county.  The change will streamline the transfer process. In 2016, Central Platte NRD processed 160 transfers. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -National Envirothon  The board approved a three-year funding request for the 2020 North American Envirothon to be hosted by the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts in July of 2020.  CPNRD will contribute $8,000/year towards the event; which will showcase the success of Nebraska’s NRD system to manage resources on river basin boundaries to the top environmental science students and future leaders in North America.  Over 500 students, sponsors, and teachers from the United States and Canada are expected at the event. -UNL Agreement  The board approved a Standard Research Agreement with UNL that states that Central Platte NRD will not patent any research work performed by the CPNRD/UNL project coordinator. -Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores FCP-  Jesse Mintken, assistant manager, reported that the invitation to bid...