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

January 2014

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director's Corner
  2. Grant Ranking to be Released Earlier
  3. A Call for Volunteer Docents for the Ferguson House
  4. 2014 Rainwater Basin Informational Seminar
  5. Pheasants Forever Events- 2014 Nebraska Prescribed Burn Training Workshops & State Habitat Meeting
  6. Nebraska Environmental Trust 2013 Annual Report Now Available on the website
  7. Upcoming Events
  8. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on YouTube


Executive Director's Corner

We said goodbye to one of our employees earlier this month.  Kacey Nelkin Pedersen was the Grants Assistant and she took a job in the Office of Sponsored Programs with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She will be a grants coordinator.  We will miss Kacey and we wish her well in her new journey. 


Kacey and Baby Hawthorne (Hank) at her farewell party at the Trust.

We have begun our search for her replacement and are off to a good start with 86 applicants for the position.  We will conduct interviews next week and hope to make an offer before the end of the month.

We also said goodbye to one of our board members.  Mike Linder has gone to work in the private sector and his replacement is Pat Rice, former Deputy Director at the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ).  Mike had been a Trust board member since 1999, before that Mike helped write most of the Trust’s founding documents while serving as legal counsel at NDEQ.  Mike will be greatly missed.

The Environmental Trust Grant Committee’s rankings will be released next week, so everyone can see the rankings before the February 13th Board Meeting.  Unfortunately there are a lot of projects that fell below the cut-off line and will not be funded.  It was a record year for number of applications and amount requested.  The full board can accept the rank list on February 13th and a public hearing will be held on April 3rd.  At the April 3rd meeting the final awards will be made.  The public can comment on any grant application at any time, but they will have the ability to submit comments or appear in person to make comments at the public hearing.

The Legislature is in full swing and the last day to introduce new bills has passed.  There are several bills dealing with water funding and the Administrative Procedures Act that we will follow closely this session.  We are requesting the ability to spend Trust funds resulting from additional Lottery proceeds, funds not expended on past grants, interest and dividends.  Hopefully the Legislature will allow us to award as many funds as possible.  If we are not allowed to expend those funds, even more grants will not be funded this year.  This is the 60 day session, also known as the short session, so it will end by mid-April.

Stay warm. 

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director


Grant Ranking to be Released Earlier

We would like to notify our readers and possible grant recipients that our Preliminary Recommendations list will be released within the next few days on our website prior to the Board meeting on February 13, 2014. Stay tuned to the website for details.


A Call for Volunteer Docents for the Ferguson House

The Trust is currently looking for volunteer docents to assists with event rentals at the Ferguson House. The 102 year-old Renaissance Revival home is a state owned building that is open for event rentals during the year, ranging from bridal and baby showers to weddings, anniversaries and birthdays at a reasonable cost to the public.

If you would like to volunteer your time to help out in these events, call Sheila Johnson at 402-471-1714 on Mondays through Fridays (8:00am – 5:00pm) or e-mail sheila.johnson@nebraska.gov to enquire about volunteer opportunities and fill out an application form. Background checks are essential for prospective volunteers and successful volunteers will be entitled for one free rental after a year of service.

ferguson house


2014 Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar

You are invited to attend the 19th Annual Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar being held on Tuesday, February 11, 2014.  This annual one-day seminar is an opportunity for landowners, agricultural producers, natural resource professionals, and other interested individuals to learn about conservation issues, researc and habitat programs in the Rainwater Basin region.

This year’s morning plenary session will focus on several aspects of “human dimensions” and the afternoon break-out sessions will include discussions regarding the Farm Bill, benefits and effects of rotational grazing, and current studies and research being conducted in the Rainwater Basin region.   Please click the link below for details on the schedule and topics to be presented.

For more information, click: RWBJV 2014 Seminar Flyer

The seminar has moved to a new venue:  the Midtown Holiday Inn, 2503 S. Locust Street, Grand Island, Nebraska.
To register, please contact Shanda Spurgeon by e-mail at shanda.spurgeon@ne.usda.gov or by phone at 402-463-6771 ext. 3 and provide your name, organization, 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 31 is requested, but a limited number of registrations 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 niki.messmer@rwbjv.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. The exhibitor’s fee is $50.00, but is waived for non-profit organizations.

Please feel free to forward this invitation to others who might be interested in attending.  This year’s schedule will also be posted on their website, www.rwbjv.org.  They look forward to seeing you at the 2014 Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar on Tuesday, February 11th.

The seminar is funded by the Nebraska Academy of Sciences through the Trust's Public Information and Eduaction (PIE) grant.


Pheasants Forever Events

Click on links below for further details:

2014 Nebraska Prescribed Burn Training Workshops

2014 State Habitat Meeting


Nebraska Environmental Trust 2013 Annual Report Now Available On the Trust Website

The Trust's 2013 Annual Report has been published and is currently being mailed out to all contacts. For a quick review of the 2013 Annual Report, please click 2013 Annual Report



Upcoming Events

- February 11, 2014 - Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Informational Seminar

- February 13, 2014 (Thursday), 1:30pm - 1st Quarter Board Meeting

- April 3, 2014 (Thursday), 1:30pm - 2nd Quarter Board Meeting.


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