A Monthly Publication of the Nebraska Environmental Trust
Pete Ricketts, Governor
Board of Trustees
In This Issue:
Executive Director Corner
The New Year is upon us and the weather keeps us guessing. We have set record high temperatures recently, but we all know winter is far from over. We take our ever changing weather for granted in the Great Plains. I have an Aunt and Uncle living near Hilo on the Big Island in Hawaii. My Aunt who grew up north of Lexington, Nebraska, often says she misses the seasons and weather changes of Nebraska. It rarely gets below 70 or above 95 on their part of the Big Island. Some days it may only vary four or five degrees in 24 hours. Our family has little pity for them, especially during blizzards or tornado season. The recent lava flow was within two miles of their house, so Mother Nature does find a way to keep life interesting for them.
The Grants Committee has finished their work and has produced the Committee Recommendations for Funding Placed in Rank Order. This list can be found on our website. The board will accept or reject this list at the February 12th NET board meeting and then we will have a public hearing and take testimony at the April 2nd NET board to finalize the list. You can submit written comments at any time up to the April 2nd meeting or give testimony at that meeting. There are a lot of great projects below the cut-off line this year, more than I have witnessed in my eight years as director. There was a high demand for funds from a very good group of applicants.
Many projects that we have funded annually for a number of years failed to be on the funding list. There were several organizations that have been very successful over the years that failed to make the cut, showing that the Trust receives very competitive applications from quality groups, organizations and individuals.
The 104th Legislature, first session got underway earlier this month. With 18 new Senators, no one knew what to expect. All bills had to be introduced by the 10th day of the session. There were 663 bills and 4 Legislative Resolutions-Constitutional Amendments introduced. A new Governor and a couple of new constitutional officers will all change things a little, but I don’t see dramatic policy shifts in the near future. There will be new ideas and new players in State government. Now it is time for everyone to buckle up and get to work, to attain the Good Life or Nebraska Nice.
Mark A. Brohman
2015 Committee Recommendations for Funding Placed In Rank Order
A copy of the 2015 Commitee Recommendations for Funding Placed in Rank Order has been made available on the Trust website. To view this list, click on the link below:
Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar
You are invited to attend the 20th Annual Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar being held on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, at the Midtown Holiday Inn, 2503 S. Locust Street, Grand Island. This annual one-day seminar is an opportunity for landowners, agricultural producers, natural resource professionals, and other interested individuals to learn about conservation issues, research, and habitat programs in the Rainwater Basin region.
There is a morning plenary session focusing on playa wetlands and break-out sessions discussing the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, landowners’ use of irrigation technology with wetlands and current studies and research being conducted in the Rainwater Basin region.
To register, please contact Shanda Spurgeon by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 402-463-6771 ext. 3 and provide your name, organization, email and mailing address. A $35 fee, payable by cash or check at the door, covers all sessions, snacks, and a buffet lunch. Pre-registration by January 30th is requested to ensure we have an adequate lunch count however registration payments will be accepted at the door. Landowners and agricultural producers are invited to register free of charge and to enter a drawing to win a $50 Cabela’s gift card.
Individuals, agencies, and organizations who wish to pre-pay for the seminar may send a check payable to the RWBJV, along with a note of each registrant’s name, to 2550 N. Diers Ave., Suite G, Grand Island, NE, 68803. If an invoice is required for pre-payment, please contact Niki Messmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 308-382-8112.
Organizations and companies that wish to host a booth or exhibit at the seminar may also contact Niki Messmer via e-mail or phone.
Please feel free to forward this invitation to others who might be interested in attending. This year’s schedule will also be posted on our website, www.rwbjv.org. We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar on Tuesday, February 10th.
2015 Leopold Conservation Award - Call for Nominations
In partnership with Sand County Foundation, Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) today announced the application period is open for the Nebraska 2015 Leopold Conservation Award. Leopold Conservation Award winners are recognized for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. The winner receives an Aldo Leopold crystal and a check for $10,000.
The Leopold Conservation Award is presented in honor of famed conservationist and author Aldo Leopold, who called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.
For more information, please contact NC Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs Kristen Hassebrook at 402-475-2333.
Salem TNT Project
Maple Cemetery in Salem, one of the oldest cemeteries in Nebraska, recently got a start at reviving its once amazing canopy of trees. The serene location overlooking the Nemaha River valley has lost approximately 100 trees in the last 20 years, many going down in a 1997 tornado.
Near Falls City, Salem was a thriving community in the early years of Nebraska pioneer history. Although the population has dropped dramatically, the community still has the dedication and spirit to care for their cemetery that holds many stories of the area’s past. It has approximately 2,000 burials, with the first estimated from the 1830s.
In November 2014, thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from the Trees for Nebraska Towns grant program, 79 trees, representing sixteen different species, were planted in the cemetery. This wide diversity of tough, attractive, yet often underused species will provide long term beauty and resilience.
Matching funds were provided by a community fundraising effort with current and former residents, plus a significant gift from a local celebrity. The successful fundraising effort will also fund a range of cemetery improvements.
The Trees for Nebraska Towns grant program was created to aid in the planting of large-growing shade trees while also improving the diversity of tree species in community forests. It is coordinated by the Nebraska Forest Service on behalf of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, and is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust.
- February 10, 2015 (Tuesday), 9:30 am - Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar, Grand Island NE.
- February 12, 2015 (Thursday), 1:30 pm - 1st Quarter Board Meeting, Ferguson House, Lincoln NE.
- March 19 - 22, 2015 - 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 18, 2015 (Saturday) - Earth Day Omaha, Omaha NE.
- May 12, 2015 (Tuesday) - 8:00am - 4:00pm Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festiva, Grand Island NE.
- May 15 - 17, 2015 (Friday - Sunday) - Spring Into Spring at Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha NE.