A Monthly Publication of the Nebraska Environmental Trust

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Pete Ricketts, Governor

Board of Trustees

District I
District II
District III

Agency Directors

Trust Staff

February 2015

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director Corner
  2. Nebraska Environmental Trust Invites Comments on 2015 Board Recommendation Rank Order List
  3. Farewell to Rod Christen
  4. Spalding Fish Passage Open House - February 26, 2015
  5. Upcoming Events


Executive Director Corner

The Trust board met on February 12, 2015 and accepted the Grants Committee Recommendations for Funding Placed in Rank Order.  This is now the board’s recommendation to be discussed at the next board meeting, April 2, 2015.  Anyone can comment on this rank order between now and the meeting in writing or you can attend the board meeting and present your comments during the public meeting that will be held that day.  Unfortunately there are a lot of great projects below the cut-off line and if you have a project that does not get funded this year, please come visit with us and we’ll try to make suggestions that can improve your success next year.

The 104th Legislature, first session got underway last month.  The 18 new Senators are gaining experience rapidly.  There were 663 bills introduced along with 4 Legislative Resolutions-Constitutional Amendments.  We are monitoring several bills that deal with issues we are involved with other agencies and organizations we partner with on a regular basis, but no legislation at this time directly impacts the Trust. 

We will be setting the dates for our annual grantee seminars to meet with successful grantees after the grants are awarded on April 2, 2015.  It is also time for our meetings across the state to talk to the citizens about the Trust’s funding categories.  We hold these meetings every five years.  We will hold a public meeting in each of the three congressional districts.  Please try to attend one of the meetings and give us your input.

I finally bought my spring game tickets yesterday for the Huskers football scrimmage.  I almost waited too long, there were only seats in the end zones left.  Only in Nebraska do you have so many people show up for a scrimmage.  The excitement is building to see what a new coach and staff have in store for us.  Stay tuned…


Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director


Nebraska Environmental Trust Invites Comments on 2015 Board Recommendation Rank Order List

At its meeting in Lincoln on February 12, 2015, the Board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust received the Grant Committee’s proposed funding of 113 projects for a total of $19,491,958 in grant awards. Of these, 56 were new applications and 57 were carry-over projects. This is the 22nd year of grants from the Trust, which has provided over 225 million dollars in lottery revenue to preserve and protect the air, water and land in Nebraska.

As part of the grant making process, the Trust is seeking public input on the proposed grants before announcing final awards on April 2, 2015. A list of all recommended grants and project information is available on the Trust website at: www.environmentaltrust.org. Written public comments will be accepted until April 1, 2015 at the Nebraska Environmental Trust, P.O. Box 94913, Lincoln NE 68509-4913 or via email at: marilyn.tabor@nebraska.gov.

Please include your name, address and organizations (if applicable) and be sure to reference the project name and number in your correspondence. Comments can also be presented in person during a public hearing on April 2, 2015. The meeting begins at 1:30 pm at the Ferguson House, 700 South 16th Street, Lincoln NE.


Farewell to Rod Christen

The Board members and staff of the Trust would like to thank Rod Christen for his time and service on the Trust Board since 2009. We take this opportunity to wish him and the Christen family well.

He will be missed! Picture below shows Rod receving a thank you plaque from current Chairman, Henry "Rick" Brandt.




Spalding Fish Passage Open House - February 26, 2015

Spalding, Nebraska – An open house has been scheduled for Thursday, February 26, 2015 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Spalding Fire Hall, 101 West Memorial Drive, Spalding, Nebraska to provide area residents information on the design and construction of the Spalding Fish Passage Project on the Cedar River.  Currently, the dam at Spalding prevents the upstream migration of fish.  This project will install a Denil style fish passage system around the dam that will allow fish to navigate the river both upstream and downstream of the dam.

A study done in 2000 revealed that the 27 miles of Cedar River between the Spalding and Ericson dams contained virtually no channel catfish.  Another study completed in 2003, when the dam was offline for repairs for a significant amount of time, revealed numerous catfish in that same stretch of river between Spalding and Ericson.  Additional sampling studies in 2006 and 2007, after the dam repairs were complete, again revealed virtually no catfish in the river.      

While previous studies of the river and the fish passage design focused on channel catfish, all fish species native to the Cedar River should be able to utilize the fish passage.  Among others, this can include the shorthead redhorse, sauger, and flathead chub.

Design of the project is complete and construction will likely begin in March.  While the Nebraska Environmental Trust is funding the majority of the construction, the project holds many other Sponsors including the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Village of Spalding, and the Loup Basin RC&D Council.

Please attend the public meeting on Thursday February 26, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Spalding Fire Hall.  Project sponsors and engineers will be available for one on one project discussion and to answer your questions about this unique and important project. For additional information about the Spalding Fish Passage open house, contact the Loup Basin RC&D office (308)-346-3393.                 



Upcoming Events

- March 19 - 22, 2015 (Thursday - Sunday) - The 45th Annual Audubon Nebraska's Crane Festival, Kearney NE.

- April 2, 2015 (Thursday), 1:30 pm - 2nd Quarter Board Meeting, Ferguson House, Lincoln NE.

- April 12, 2015 (Sunday) - Sustainability Celebration, First Plymouth Courtyard

- April 18, 2015 (Saturday) - Earth Day Omaha, Omaha NE.

- April 18, 2015 (Saturday) - Lincoln Earth Day, Lincoln NE.

- May 12, 2015 (Tuesday) - 8:00am - 4:00pm Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival, Grand Island NE.

- May 15 - 17, 2015 (Friday - Sunday) - Spring Into Spring at Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha NE.


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