Wednesday, November 26, 2014
   
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NRD proposes rules and regs for irrigation

The Central Platte Natural Resources District will hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 30, at 1:30 p.m. for the public to testify on the NRD’s proposed irrigation rules and regulations.

The new plan titled “Groundwater Use in Fully and Over Appropriated Areas,” will include a section on repeat violators, as well as policies that have been adopted since the last update in July 2009. The proposed changes can be found on the NRD’s website at www.cpnrd.org and can be requested by contacting the NRD.

NRCS—Funding has been cut for the RC&D Program, but work will continue until current grants are expended and the federal government announces that they are disbanded, said Randy Gunn of the South Central Chapter.

James Huntwork, district conservationist of Grand Island, reported that the NRCS has taken in many of the RC&D employees, including Gunn. Huntwork also reported that a public meeting titled the CPNRD Local Working Group, will be held on Tuesday, June 14, to discuss to local natural resource priorities and criteria for conservation activities and programs. The meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m.-noon at the CPNRD, 215 Kaufman Ave in Grand Island.

Water Resources Committee—Other action taken by the committee:

Integrated Management Plan—Ron Bishop reported to the committee that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has had the proposed revision of the IMP for 60 days and hopes to have their comments about it by the June board meeting. Bishop said discussions with the DNR have been positive.

Fully Appropriated Study—HDR Engineering was hired to do this Study to outline options on how to determine if Districts are fully appropriated and how to improve the current process. In a recent meeting, HDR met with stakeholders to give them an interim report on possible recommendations, including how to determine a base for required stream flows. Once the process has been outlined by HDR, then it will first be applied to the Platte River to determine where the fully appropriated and over appropriated areas are in the District.  The CPNRD and DNR are sponsoring the study.

Water Banking Program—the committee went into executive session to discuss property acquisition.

Budget Committee—The committee reviewed the requested 2012 FY budgets from staff. The proposed budget with expenditures will be mailed out to directors to be adopted in June. A public hearing will be held in July.

PBHEP—Mark Czaplewski, biologist, reported that the Platte Basin Habitat Enhancement Project has purchased land in the amount of $2,270,685. Of that amount, CPNRD has been reimbursed $908,286 from DNR and $454,113 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust through a grant already approved. Czaplewski also reported that the NRD has recently acquired another $8,178,909 in property; with the expectation of reimbursements totaling $3,457,155 from DNR and $1,264,00 from NET.

Legislative Report—Milt Moravek gave the final update on the 2011 Legislative Session.  He reported that Legislative Bills 400, 212, 248 and 374E were all approved and have been signed by the governor. LB 248 was a bill written by CPNRD range management specialist David Carr, to improve educational efforts with county and district entities regarding prescribed fire.

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