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

July 2015

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director Corner
  2. Update from Funding Categories Roundtable Meetings
  3. Trust Awards Bonus Points to North Central Projects
  4. Sherry Vinton New Chairman of the Nebraska Environmental Trust Board
  5. 2015 Landowner Habitat Tours
  6. Youth Pollinator Project Promotion
  7. Upcoming Events


Executive Director Corner

We held our third quarter board meeting earlier this month in Nebraska City.  The board decided not to make any modifications to the funding categories or their descriptions.  The board also awarded District 6 projects 20 geographical points in the 2016 grant application cycle.  The board was also able to complete a couple of site visits and get project updates during a field trip.

Sherry Vinton was elected Chair of the Trust for the next year and Greg Ibach, Director of the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture, was named Vice-Chair at the board meeting.  I want to welcome Ms. Vinton and thank Mr. Brandt for his past year of service as Chair of the Trust.

Potential grant applicants have been calling and e-mailing the Trust with questions about their projects.  As always, there are some interesting grant proposals and I’m sure we will hear about many more over the next month and a half before the deadline on September 8th.

Summer is half over and schools will be back in session before you know it.  The fall sports season is just around the corner, including college football and volleyball.  There is a lot of anticipation in the Husker nation.  The football team has a new coach and the volleyball team is loaded with talent from last season.  Go Big Red!

Enjoy the rest of the summer.


Mark Brohman
Executive Director  


Update From Funding Categories Roundtable Meetings

The Trust Board discussed in depth the suggestions and comments that came from the three Funding Categories Roundtable Meetings conducted in North Platte, Lincoln and Omaha as well the Survey Forms that were returned and have concluded NOT to make any changes to the existing categories or their descriptions. As such, these Categories (Habitat, Surface and Groundwater, Waste Management, Soil Management and Air Quality) will remain in effect until 2020.

During deliberation it was concluded that the existing categories were broad enough to encompass most of the ideas and suggestions that were brought up during the Roundtable meetings. The Categories and descriptions were not limiting applications; they simply outline the general funding categories the Trust funds.

For further information, contact the Trust office for questions or clarification.


Trust Awards Bonus Points to North Central Projects

In a continuing effort to support natural resource projects across Nebraska, the board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust will award geographic bonus points to 2016 grant applicants in only one of the seven geographical areas across the state. The geographical map of Nebraska showing the seven districts can be seen on the Trust website at: www.environmentaltrust.org .

Projects based entirely or partially in District 6 (North Central) will be eligible for up to 20 bonus points in the 2016 grant cycle.

By law, the Nebraska Environmental Trust is required to ensure a geographic mix of projects over time. Geographic bonus points allow the Trust board to evaluate which areas are in need of Trust grant funds and provide an incentive to increase applications from deficient areas. District 6 has received $20,328,660 since Trust grants began in 1994.

Applications for 2016 grants are due by Tuesday, September 8, 2015. To apply, download an application form from the Trust website, www.environmentaltrust.org.


Sherry Vinton New Chairman of the Nebraska Environmental Trust Board

Ms. Vinton

Sherry Vinton of Whitman was recently elected Chairman of Nebraska Environmental Trust Board during the July 14, 2015 Board Meeting held in Nebraska City, Nebraska. A board member from the state’s third congressional district, Sherry has served on the Environmental Trust’s Board since March 2007.

Sherry is an active partner in the current ranching enterprise along with her husband, Chris. Two of their three adult children and their families have now joined the operation to continue the ranching tradition. Currently, Sherry serves on the Grant County planning commission, as a mentor for the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition, and is serving in her second appointment to the Cattleman's Beef Board. She has also served on advisory committees for Gudmundsen Sandhills Research Lab and Farm Credit Services. As a member of St. Mary’s parish she enjoyed teaching CCD for 12 years. Combining environmental, agricultural and land use planning interests, Sherry is an advocate for private property rights information and education. Chris and Sherry are members of Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen and Stewards of the Range.

Commenting on her recent appointment, Ms. Vinton said, “As a lifelong Nebraskan, I'm grateful for the opportunity that the Trust has offered for me to give something back and serve our truly unique state.  After more than thirty years of being a steward, or rancher, on Nebraska land I'm still in awe of its natural beauty, abundant wildlife and the productivity our state provides.  Young adults of today are supporting ecological practices, forming community projects and have a remarkable intuitive grasp of modern technology.  I look forward to working with all their new energy”.

Mr. Greg Ibach, Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture was appointed Vice-Chairman.

The Trust Board is comprised of 14 members representing the State of Nebraska and its citizens. Nine citizen representatives are appointed by the Governor to serve six year terms. Three representatives are chosen from each congressional district, serve without pay and represent a wide variety of natural resource interests. Five agency directors make up the remaining seats on the board to provide coordination with existing state resources. A staff of five handles the day-to-day activities of the organization.

2015 Landowner Habitat Tours

Nebraska Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are hosting a series of Landowner Habitat Tours across the State this summer.  With the support of the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission and USDA, these FREE Landowner Habitat Tours will cover an array of topics ranging from Pheasant Management, the use of high diversity seed mixtures, fire ecology, and pollinators.  Since 2004, this partnership has hosted 132 habitat tours with over 3,100 people attending.  The habitat tours are hosted by Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists and Coordinating Wildlife Biologists who are experts in habitat and wildlife.  Please join us for a tour near you!  The tours are FREE, but pre-registration is appreciated.  Please pre-register at www.NebraskaPF.com or call 844-SEED-NOW.  We’ll see you there!

For more info, click, 2015 Habitat Tours


Youth Pollinator Project Promotion

The Nebraska Youth Pollinator Habitat Program started in 2014. Since 2014, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Chapters have conducted 23 projects on 24 acres across the state.  In addition, 1,342 participants have volunteered over 2,100 hours establishing pollinator projects.

A typical pollinator event includes participants hand broadcast seeding native wildflower seed mixes and hand planting native plants and shrubs on ½ acre to two acre plots.  Events also include education stations where participants learn about the monarch butterfly migration, important native wildflowers and how to identify them and the role pollinators play in producing many of our favorite foods that we eat on a daily basis.

All projects were made possible by generous funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, SportDog Inc., DuPont Pioneer, and Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Chapters throughout Nebraska.   Other program partners include The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Prairie Plains Resource Institute, Nebraska Natural Resource Districts, The Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Boy & Girl Scouts of America, Future Farmers of America, Nebraska Public Schools, Rowe Sanctuary, 4H, the city of York, Fontenelle Forest, and the National Forest Service.   

The Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Program is part of Pheasants Forever’s National Youth Pollinator Habitat Program which supports local chapters across the country in educating and engaging youth and community groups on establishing critical pollinator habitat.  Essential to global food production, approximately one-third of all food and beverages are delivered by pollinating insects; however, many species of native pollinators and domesticated honey bees are in decline.  Pheasants Forever’s Youth Pollinator Habitat Program is aimed at increasing awareness about decreasing pollinator populations and establishing critical pollinator nesting and foraging habitat throughout the country. 


Central Nebraska Quail Forever Youth Pollinator Participants, Sponsors and Staff


Upcoming Events

- August 7, 2015 (Friday) - Lancaster County Fair - Go Green Day, Lancaster Event Center, Lincoln

- August 28 - September 7, 2015 - Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island

- September 12, 2015 - World O' Water Festival, Omaha

- September 29, 2015 - Nature Palooza, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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