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

June 2013

In This Issue:

  1. Executive Director's Corner
  2. Nebraska Land Trust - A Tour of Preserved Properties
  3. Grand Island Area Clean Community System - Successfully Dispose of Drugs
  4. Upcoming Events
  5. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on YouTube


Executive Director's Corner

Summer has arrived and we have seen some crazy weather from heat shears where the temperature rose over 20 degrees after dark in the central part of the State to tornadoes, hail and flooding.  The jury is still out on if the drought will continue this summer.  Most of Nebraska has received enough moisture to climb out of the severe drought designation, but late June, July and August tend to be Nebraska’s drier months, so we’ll wait and see. 

We will have our next board meeting in Holdrege on July 18th and 19th.  Our Chair, Gloria Erickson hails from Holdrege and she is hosting this two day meeting.  We will tour some local projects and enjoy the local hospitality.

I participated in the Summer Grazing Tour on June 11th.  This event is sponsored by the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) and the Nebraska Cattlemen.  The Trust helps fund the NGLC and so we helped underwrite the event.  There were about 250 participants that toured the Gracie Creek Ranch (operated by the Price family), Shovel Dot Ranch & Twin Creek Ranch (both operated by the Buell family) and the Barta Brothers Ranch (operated by the University of Nebraska).  The Gracie Creek Ranch recently completed the largest conservation easement in Nebraska at about 25,000 acres funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Protection Program and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.  The easement was put together and is held by the Sandhills Task Force.

Sheila and I were fortunate enough on June 7th to participate in the Nebraska Land Trust’s Schramm Bluffs Tour.  We toured five properties that have established conservation easements with the Land Trust.  Four of the five properties have Environmental Trust funds involved.  The properties were Anderson/Swanson, Kennedy, Walz, Fedde and Patterson.  The Schramm Bluffs lie just south of Gretna, overlooking the Platte River.

Let’s hope we continue to get timely rains without the solid forms of moisture and none of those swirling winds.

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director


Nebraska Land Trust - A Tour of Preserved Properties

As Mark mentioned in his message, we had the privilege of touring some of the amazing properties that the Nebraska Land Trust had established permanent easements utilizing Trust funding alongside that of other partner agencies. These properties certainly have a unique appeal, which were evident from what their landowners shared with their visitors.


Touring the Properties

Connie Anderson and Stan Swanson's property (36 acres preserved with NET funding and landowner donation in 2012)

  • Resources protected:  Oak/hickory woodlands, a locally rare grove of black oaks, significant archeological sites including trail ruts, farmland in an urbanizing county, demonstration plot for cedar removal, and scenic views from 204th St.

– Walz Farm (90 acres now owned by Jarel Vinduska, preserved in 2008 with funding from the NET, Hawkins Construction, and landowner donation)

  • Resources protected:  One-half mile of natural Platte River shoreline, one-half mile of a Platte River tributary, riparian woodlands, farming, scenic views from Hwy 31 and parks across the river, and it adjoins Schramm State Park.

Fedde Farm (157 acres preserved in 2011, with funding from NET, NRCS, and landowner donation)

  • Resources protected:  Oak/hickory woodlands, flowing stream, archeological site, farmland in an urbanizing county, adjacent to Schramm State Park, soil conservation, currently an organic farm, watershed protection, and scenic views from Hwy 31.

Patterson Farm (57 acres preserved in 2010; 179 acres preserved in 2011; 176 acres to be preserved in 2013; 285 acres to be preserved in 2014; total in project – 697, all funded by NET, NRCS, and landowner donations)

  • Resources protected:  Oak/hickory woodlands, flowing streams, watershed protection, soil conservation, significant archeological sites, productive farmland in an urbanizing county, and scenic views from Hwy 31 and parks across the river.


Archeological finds from the Patterson Farm




Grand Island Area Clean Community System - Successfully Dispose of Drugs

The Grand Island Clean Community System had its first successful disposal of prescription and non-prescription medications on Saturday, May 18 at the facility at 3661 N. Sky Park Road, Grand Island, Nebraska.

A little over 21 pounds of pills were taken in along with almost a gallon and half of liquid medications.  A total of 39 residents of the four county region of Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick County participated by bringing their medications for the disposal.

Executive Director, Pat Wagner, thanked Michelle Schultz from the Grand Island Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition for helping as well as Jennifer Bernth and Patsy Steensen, both Board Members of the Grand Island Clean Community System, Hall County Deputy Sheriff Jason Smith and August Stromberg part-time employee for all their help with the event.



The medications that were taken in were properly disposed therefore eliminating them from contaminating the groundwater by having them flushed down the toilet.

The event was sponsored by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, the Hall County Sheriff's Office, The Grand Island Community System and the Grand Island Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.


Upcoming Events

-July 18 - 19, 2013 (Thursday/Friday) - 3rd Quarter Board Meeting, Location: Holdrege.

- July 25-26, 2013 - Innovations on the Land Symposium- Private Conservation for the Public Good, Embassy Suites, Lincoln NE. For more info, visit: http://innovationsontheland.com/

- August 23 - September 2, 2013 - Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island.

- September 7, 2013 - World O Water Festival, Omaha.

- September 10-12, 2013 - Husker Harvest Days, Grand Island

- September 21-22, 2013 - Ponca Outdoor Expo, Ponca State Park


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