Board to Appoint New Director

The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at the NRD’s office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. AGENDA 1. NRCS Report   Joe Krolikowski, district liaison, will report. 2. Officer Election   Election will be held for board chairman and vice-chairman to serve for two years. 3. Appoint Director   The Search Committee will recommend an individual to serve as a director in Sub-District 4. The board will appoint an individual to serve for a term of two years. 4. Committee Selection   Directors will select at least two committees that they plan to serve on. Each committee will select a chairman after the board meeting has concluded. 5. Violation Report   Luke Zakrzewski will give a 2018 violation summary. 6. Legislation   Report on bills introduced this session regarding natural resources. 7. Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD)   Jim Bendfeldt will report. 8. Nebraska Natural Resources Commission   Mick Reynolds will report. 9. Cost-Share  Action on cost-share requests through CPNRD and the NSWCP programs. 10. New Employees   Lyndon Vogt will report on the individuals hired for Habitat Specialist and Easement Administrative Specialist. 11. Financial Report   Action on the December and January financial reports. 12. Other   As may develop prior to the board meeting....

December Board Action

Jim Bendfeldt of Kearney was re-nominated to serve as board chair at the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors meeting on Thursday.  Mick Reynolds of Wood River was re-nominated as vice-chairman by the nominating committee. The election will take place at the January 24th board meeting. Board officers may serve two, two-year terms. Bendfeldt and Reynolds are both eligible to serve another two-year term. -Cease & Desist Order Update  Sandy Noecker, data compliance officer, reported that 18 of the 88 Cease & Desist Orders issued to producers in November for failure to submit crop report forms for the CPNRD’s Nitrogen Manage­ment Program are still out of compliance. If those producers irrigate, they will be in violation of the Cease & Desist Order. Potential penalties for violation are a fine of $1,000 – $5,000 per violation, ineligibility for NRD cost-share, and restriction from transferring any irrigated acres. Noecker said the 18 producers out of compliance represent about two percent of the 900 producers in the program. -Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Flood Risk Reduction Project  The board approved: -Change Order #1 to VanKirk Bros. to increase the contract amount by $67,270 for a total contract price of $639,440.19. The increase was due to the requirement to excavate 2,200 cubic yards of unsuitable subgrade soils. -Extension of substantial completion date on the Silver Creek Levee project due to the U.S. Corp of Engineer permits approval being delayed. The completion date was extended to February 15, 2019. -Platte River Recovery Implementation Program  Mark Czaplewski, biologist, reported on the Program’s Governance Committee (GC) meeting on December 10, 2018.  The GC approved the $27.9...

Osceola to Host Burn School

A Prescribed Burn School will be held on Friday, January 18, 2019, at the Polk County Fairgrounds Agriculture Building from 9 a.m. to 4:00 pm.  Workshop attendees will hear from speakers with a variety of burn experience and learn how to conduct a predictable controlled burn in an open-field setting. The workshop will focus on the benefits of using fire to manage grassland, however; since fire can start anytime and anywhere, the knowledge gained from the workshop will be valuable to anyone who uses fire to eliminate waste on their land. Mark Alberts, a well-known prescribed fire advocate in Nebraska, will be one of the speakers at the event. As a farmer, Alberts uses fire to control Eastern Red Cedar and other invasive plants on his grassland. The timing of a burn, how you prepare for a burn, and how much fuel is in the field, are important variables when planning a controlled burn.  Mark will be sharing his first-hand experience of what using fire can do for your land. David Carr, Bill Hiatt, and Lisa McMillan will also present at the burn school. Carr, Central Platte NRD range management specialist, has conducted hundreds of burns across from Gothenburg to Columbus, NE.  He was the burn boss for several burns right here in Polk County.  Hiatt is new to the Central Platte NRD staff, bringing 19 years of burn experience to the event as he shares about fire behavior.  Lisa McMillan, range conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Broken Bow, has mastered the art of writing burn plans.  She will share her knowledge and skills as she...

December Board Agenda

Central Platte NRD Board of Directors Meeting 2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 20, 2018 BUSINESS 1. NRCS Report  Joe Krolikowski, district liaison, will report. 2. Audit Report  Allison Petr, Lutz Accounting, will present the 2017/2018 audit report. 3. Eastern Projects  The Committee will review and give recommendations on the following items for the Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Flood Risk Reduction Project. A) Change Order #1  Action on additional excavation required. B) Completion Date  Extend completion date on the levee. 4. Programs Committee A) Outdoor Sign  Review quotes and report recommendation for an outdoor office sign. B) Brush Management  Discuss adding a maximum amount producers may receive for brush management cost-share through the Nebraska Soil & Water Conservation Program. 5. Board Officer  Nominating Committee The Committee will report their recommendations for chair and vice-chair. The election will be held during the January 24th board meeting. 6. Cease & Desist  Sandy Noecker will give an update on Cease & Desist Orders issued to producers. 7. Platte River Recovery Implementation Program  Mark Czaplewski will report on the Program. 8. Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD)  Jim Bendfeldt will report. 9. Nebraska Natural Resources Commission  Mick Reynolds will report. 10. Voting Delegates  Action to elect a voting delegate and alternate for the Nebraska Association of Resources District’s Legislative Conference in January. 11. Cost-Share  Action on cost-share requests through CPNRD and the NSWCP programs. 12. Financial Report  Action will be taken on November financial report. 13. Other  As may develop prior to the board meeting. *Service awards will be presented to Bob Schanou, Dan Clement, and Deb Jarzynka during lunch.*...

Chair & Vice-Chair Nominations

The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 20, 2018, a week early due to the Christmas holiday. Action items and updates on the agenda: -Board Officer Nominating Committee  The nominating committee for board chairman and vice-chairman (Deb VanMatre, Alicia Haussler, Barry Obermiller) will make their recommendations to the board. Board officers may serve two, two-year terms. Jim Bendfeldt currently serves as chairman and Mick Reynolds serves as vice-chairman. -Cease & Desist Order Update  Sandy Noecker, data compliance officer, will give an update on the 88 Cease and Desist Orders issued to producers for failure to submit crop report forms due March 31st for the CPNRD’s Nitrogen Manage­ment Program. Irrigated acres under a cease and desist order cannot be irrigated until they are compliant with the Program. Potential penalties for violation are: possibility of a fine not less than $1,000 and up to $5,000 per violation and/or a loss of irrigated acres, ineligibility for NRD cost-share, and restriction from transferring any irrigated acres. Violators may request a hearing in front of the Board within ten (10) days of receiving the certified Cease and Desist notification. -Search Committee  Letters of interest will be accepted until December 31, 2018, for the Sub-district 4 board vacancy. Keith Stafford, Deb VanMatre, and Ed Stoltenberg are serving as the Search Committee to recommend appointment of an individual. The candidate selected will be appointed at the January 2019 CPNRD Board of Directors meeting for a term of two years.  Sub-district 4 includes a portion of East Central Buffalo County including part of Northeast Kearney and...

Irrigation Systems

-Central NE Irrigation Project Update   Courtney Widup, water resources technician, gave an update on the Central Nebraska Irrigation Project. Widup said the goal of the project is to improve sustainability along the beef chain by using new technology such as the Arable Mark field-level weather and crop monitoring device to make real-time decisions. It collects over 40 different data streams on precipitation, ET, solar radiation, plant health, weather, harvest timing, wind, and soil moisture. The Project also includes the use of pivot telemetry and flow meters. Widup said 19 low tech/no tech producers within the District enrolled in 2018. The Project would like a total of 50 producers enrolled by 2020. Partners include The Nature Conservancy, Nestlé Purina, and Cargill.   Contact...

94 Producers Cease & Desist

November 15, 2018 94 Producers to Receive Cease & Desist Orders (GRAND ISLAND, NE) – On Thursday, the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors approved issuing 94 Cease and Desist Orders to producers for failure to submit crop report forms for the CPNRD’s Nitrogen Manage­ment Program.  Landowners will be notified next week of the violations. Over 900 producers are in the Phase II/III program and must file reports for all crops grown including corn, sorghum, potatoes, beans, alfalfa, and all small grains. The form includes actual crop results for the 2017 crop year and planning for the 2018 crop year. The annual report forms are due March 31st as part of the District’s Groundwater Quality Management Program.  Producers received notices in January, April, and October about required action. Irrigated acres under a cease and desist order cannot be irrigated until they are compliant with the Program. Potential penalties for violation are: possibility of a fine not less than $1,000 and up to $5,000 per violation and/or a loss of irrigated acres, ineligibility for NRD cost-share, and restriction from transferring any irrigated acres. Violators may request a hearing in front of the Board within ten (10) days of receiving the certified Cease and Desist notification. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Search Committee  Keith Stafford, Deb VanMatre, and Ed Stoltenberg will serve as the Search Committee to recommend the appointment of an individual for the Sub-district 4 vacancy. Letters of interest will be accepted until December 31, 2018. The candidate selected will be appointed at the January 2019 CPNRD Board of Directors meeting for a term of two years. Sub-district...

Changes to Groundwater Rules & Regs

Central Platte NRD Makes Changes to Groundwater Management Rules & Regulations (September 27, 2018) (GRAND ISLAND, NE) – On Thursday, the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors issued an order for changes to the NRD’s Rules and Regulations for the Groundwater Management Plan. The order was approved during the CPNRD’s September board meeting with changes to take effect November 1, 2018. Changes include new language regarding wells and adds a timeline for staff to receive transfer applications. The order also increases the number of years that transfers are not allowed from two years to five years within a Ground Water Management Area, where declines have been more than the 25% of the allowable level. The levels are determined by measurements taken in the spring by NRD staff. The changes are available for download at cpnrd.org or by contacting the CPNRD office at (308) 385-6282. The board also set a public hearing to be held on October 25, 2018, at 1:50 p.m. to lift the 180-day temporary stay on new wells and new irrigated acres. The stay was implemented to update the Rules and Regulations for the Fully and Over Appropriated Area of the District. During the temporary stay, the acre transfer tool was updated and new depletion numbers were implemented. The new numbers were determined by the Cooperative Hydrology Study (COHYST) Groundwater Model used for the Groundwater Quantity Management Program. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Pilot Program  Brandi Flyr, hydrologist, reported that the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources approved the transfer of 14,251 acre-feet of water to the Environmental Account. The transfer is part of Central Platte NRD’s...

Budget Down $4.5 Million

Central Platte NRD Reduces Budget by $4.5 Million The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors adopted their 2019 amended budget of expenditures following a public hearing on Thursday. The budget is $4.5 million lower than the 2018 fiscal budget and the property tax request is down $1.1 million. A levy hearing is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. on August 30, 2018, just prior to the board of directors meeting. The levy is estimated at .02601. A homeowner with a home valued at $100,000 will pay $26.01 for conservation benefits provided by the CPNRD including flood control, nitrate management, soil health, cost-share to producers, recreation, education, and other natural resources benefits. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Rules & Regulation Changes  The board reviewed proposed changes to the NRD’s Rules and Regulations for the Groundwater Management Plan. Changes include new language regarding wells and adds a timeline for staff to receive transfer applications. Proposed Changes-PDF The final change increases the number of years that transfers are not allowed, from two years to five years, within a Ground Water Management Area where declines have been in excess of the 25 percent of the allowable level. The levels are determined by measurements taken in the spring by NRD staff. A public hearing on the proposed changes will be held at 1:00 p.m. prior to the September 27th board meeting.  The proposed changes are available for download at cpnrd.org or by contacting the Central Platte NRD office at (308) 385-6282. -B-1 Reservoir  Four bids were received to study best options to account for water in the B-1 Reservoir; which is located five miles north and...

Groundwater Levels Show Increase in 2018

Static accumulated groundwater levels are up 0.54 feet since spring of 2017 in the Central Platte NRD. Levels are determined by measurements taken by CPNRD staff from 430 designated wells each year. Although the annual levels increased this year, the 1982 to 2018 static groundwater levels are down 0.31 feet. The 1982 levels were established as the standard for CPNRD’s Groundwater Management Plan with maximum acceptable declines and a margin of safety calculated for each of the District’s 24 Ground Water Management Areas (GWMA). GWMA 9 continues to show annual declines measuring a decline of 12.39 feet in Buffalo County north of Kearney. This management area has had steady declines since 2000, dropping another quarter-foot since last spring despite timely rains during the 2017 growing season. 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. Since the area extends into the Lower Loup NRD, the NRDs are jointly studying the groundwater declines more closely. CPNRD serves 11 counties including all of Dawson and parts of Frontier, Custer Buffalo, Hall, Howard, Nance, Merrick, Hamilton, Platte, and Polk. PDF Download- Groundwater Level Report  Interactive maps are available at...