A Monthly Publication of the Nebraska Environmental Trust

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Dave Heineman, Governor

Board of Trustees

District I
District II
District III

Agency Directors

Trust Staff

September 2014

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director Corner
  2. Nebraska Environmental Trust Invites Comments for 2015 Grant Applications
  3. Natural Legacy Conference
  4. WasteCap Nebraska Hosting 2014 Sustainability Summit: "Road to Zero Waste"
  5. Upcoming Events


Executive Director Corner

We have seen freezing weather and a bit of snow out west already, but who knows if it will be a mild fall or one of those early winters.  Some are predicting a wet cold winter while other forecasts are calling for milder conditions.  One thing for sure, Nebraska’s weather is unpredictable.

The Trust staff had a presence at the State Fair in Grand Island 10 out of 11 days.  We really enjoyed meeting with people, working in the New Nebraska Building and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission exhibition area.  The Trust helped fund the waterfall and 6,000 gallon portable aquarium in the exhibit.  I can’t tell you how many people expressed to me their joy of having fish back at the fair and how much they enjoyed the archery and air rifle ranges.  The entire exhibit was a big hit with young and old.

Huskers Harvest Days were a sloppy mess this year.  It was so muddy they had to cancel the second day of the three day show because the parking lots looked like mud bogs.  Fortunately the Trust’s four-wheel drive did just fine, but many two-wheel drive pickups, cars and vans were getting stuck right and left at the end of the first day.  I think the crowds were light because of the cooler and rainy weather.  The Trust did help sponsor recycling on the grounds which resulted in one roll-off full of cardboard and another almost full of plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

Now it is off to Ponca State Park for the two day Ponca Outdoor Expo Sept. 20th and 21st.  This is a family event that emphasizes the tremendous outdoor opportunities we have across the state.  Lots of demonstrations and hands-on events for kids and their parents and grandparents await attendees.  It is always fun to see the youngsters running around enjoying the wide variety of events and almost everything is free.

We received 122 new grant applications compared to 126 last year and the requested funding is about $60M.  With only $19M in funds available, there will unfortunately be good projects that will fail to be funded.  Projects are being sent out for technical reviews and then the Grants Committee will begin meeting and scoring projects.

Husker fans are very excited with a 3-0 start, but the season will soon be in the Big 10 schedule and even the Miami game this weekend could be a challenge.  The Lady Huskers hit a buzz saw at the beginning of the volleyball season against some highly ranked teams, but appear to be shaking off the early losses. 

Have a safe fall harvest and Go Big Red!

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director


Nebraska Environmental Trust Invites Comments for 2015 Grant Applications

The Nebraska Environmental Trust entered the 2015 grant cycle on September 2, 2014 receiving 122 new applications and 57 carry-over projects requesting a total of $59,112,296 in grants. Last year the Trust received 126 new applications and 76 carry-over projects. The Trust has completed 21 grant cycles and will announce the results of the 22nd round of award recommendations in February 2015.

As part of the grant application process, the Trust invites members of the public to review the proposed grants and provide written comments about the projects. A summary of each proposal is available on the Trust’s web site www.environmentaltrust.org.

Comments on the grant applications will be accepted until April 1, 2015 at the Nebraska Environmental Trust, 700 S 16th Street, PO Box 94913, Lincoln, NE 68509-4913 or via e-mail to marilyn.tabor@nebraska.gov.


Natural Legacy Conference
Gering Civic Center, NE October 8-9, 2014

Join the 4th Annual Natural Legacy Conference in a land with healthy hunting ground rich with Wild Turkeys and other wildlife, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep roaming the countryside, and at-risk bat species flying the night skies of the Wildcat Hills and Pine Ridge. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project invites natural resource professionals and conservationists to gather each year to learn about important actions taking place in the state for wildlife habitat and at-risk species.The Natural Legacy Conference 2014 moves west this year to take place on October 8-9 at the Gering Civic Center. In addition to informative talks and the opportunity to collaborate with researchers and colleagues, there will be guided tours of the North Platte River and the Wildcat Hills. Lunch, coffee, pastries, and snacks will be provided each day of the Conference. Your registration will also include dinner on the night of October 8. Register today!

Preliminary agenda includes, but is not limited to, the following presenters:

  • Conservation in the Pine Ridge - Jane Darnell, U.S. Forest Service, NE National Forests and Grasslands
  • Mountain Lions, Sam Wilson, NE Game & Parks Commission
  • Bats of the Wildcat Hills and Pine Ridge - Keith Geluso, University of Nebraska - Kearney
  • Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep – Todd Nordeen, NE Game & Parks Commission
  • Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt – Jared McJunkin, National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Plant Communities of the Wildcat Hills (visit to Cedar Canyon WMA) – Gerry Steinauer, NE Game & Parks Commission
  • Conservation on the North Platte River and Wildcat Hills – Emily Munter, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Setting Conservation Priorities: Biologically Unique Landscape Planning in the Pine Ridge – Melissa Panella, NE Game & Parks Commission
  • Climate change adaptation strategies: helping biodiversity cope – Rick Schneider, NE Game & Parks Commission
  • Golden Eagle telemetry project – Division of Migratory Birds, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Swift Fox – Lucia Corral, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
  • Platte River Basin Environments – Hod Kosman
  • Climate Change Assessment – UNL Climate Scientist
  • Pollinators – Pheasants Forever
  • Documented Fish Declines in the Missouri River – Fisheries, NE Game & Parks Commission
  • Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

For more info click here for PDF.

Contact information, Melissa Panella (402-471-5708) or melissa.panella@nebraska.gov


WasteCap Nebraska Hosting 2014 Sustainability Summit: "Road to Zero Waste"

WasteCap Nebraska is hosting its 4th Annual Sustainability Summit: Road to Zero Waste on October 28th and 29th, 2014 at Embassy Suites-Downtown in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The two day Summit will explore policies, processes and infrastructure needed for businesses and municipalities to move away from a disposal-based system to a "zero waste" resource recovery-based system. Participants can register online at www.wastecapne.org/2014-sustainability-summit/.  

Nebraskans throw away $137 million of reusable or recyclable resources each year.  A Zero Waste system approach is a highly effective strategy to capture these resources, save money, protect the climate and generate more jobs than traditional solid waste management plans.  Keynote speaker, Eric Lombardi, Executive Director of Eco-Cycle International will share his long term Zero Waste planning strategy for communities.

The Summit will offer two tracks, one for communities and one for businesses. The schedule includes:

Tuesday, October 28

  • Half-Day business and community workshops

(1) A New Corporate Model for Nebraska: Using Business as a Force for Good
(2) Zero Waste Community Planning

  • Tours demonstrating zero waste infrastructure

 (1) Assurity Life Insurance Company, Nebraska Innovation Campus and EcoStores Nebraska
 (2) Recycling Enterprises and Prairieland Dairy

  • Public Policy Forum “The Role of Government in Waste Management and Resource Recovery Systems”

Wednesday, October 29

  • Keynote address "Demystifying the Community Zero Waste Plan"
  • Breakout sessions

(1) Results of the 2014 Statewide Recycling Study
(2) New Business Standards for Zero Waste Certification
(3) Using Public Opinion Polling to Craft Strategy and Message
(4) How I lost Weight with Re-TRAC and WOWED’em at the reunion!  

  • 2014 WasteCap Nebraska Sustainable Business Awards Luncheon
  • Vendor show featuring more than 20 businesses providing green services or products.
  • Plenary Session “Building Zero Waste Infrastructure”
The Summit is partially grant-funded by The Nebraska Environmental Trust. 


Upcoming Events

- September 20-21, 2014 - Ponca Outdoor Expo, Ponca State Park, Ponca, Nebraska.

- November 6, 2014 (Thursday) - 4th Quarter Board Meeting, Ferguson House, Lincoln

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