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Trust News




Nebraska Environmental Trust Announces Geo Points

In a continuing effort to support natural resource projects across Nebraska, the board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust will award 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: .

Projects based in District 6 (North Central) will be eligible for 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.



Public Information and Education (PIE) Grant

The Nebraska Academy of Sciences received a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (Trust) to administer the Public Information and Education Grants program previously managed by the Trust.  The Academy is excited about the opportunity to work with the Trust in administering these mini-grants.

The grant program seeks to expand dialogue on important conservation topics and to provide information on emerging or highly useful conservation methods.  The Academy took over administration of the PIE MiniGrant program since the fourth quarter of 2009. 

Benefits of the PIE MiniGrants include:
- Simplified Application: Complete a PIE MiniGrant Application-- two forms and a written project narrative.
- Grant Funding up to $3000: PIE MiniGrants have a limit of $3000 for each grant.
- Quarterly Grant Cycle: The Academy will accept applications and announce new PIE MiniGrants on a quarterly basis.

The MiniGrant program is open to all applicants, public or private. Project eligibility is determined according to the standards established by Nebraska law for the program. Funding is not available under this program for projects which have been completed prior to the award.

To apply for a PIE Minigrant contact The Nebraska Academy of Sciences, 302 Morrill Hall, 14th and U Street, Lincoln, NE 68588-0339.  Forms are also available on the website:  Click on the PIE grant link.  Be sure to check the calendar for quarterly application deadlines.  Applications must be postmarked by the deadline date to be considered.


Revision of Trust Funding Categories

The Nebraska Environmental Trust Board reviewed public input from the June 26, 2009, category roundtable and survey results from those participants and others at the July 30, 2009, 3rd Quarter Board Policy Discussion Session.  The Board decided that most participants were satisfied with the existing funding categories and only slight modifications were needed in two of the categories.

The first change was within the Surface and Ground Water category.  The Board decided to change “…lakes, streams and ground water…” to “…lakes, waterways and groundwater…”.  This change was seen as being more descriptive.

The second change was within the Air Quality category.  The recommended change was from “implementing clean air strategies; actions to research,…” to “implementing clean air strategies; including greenhouse gas reductions; actions to research…”.  This change allows some additional attention to be provided to energy related projects.
There was discussion about adding, deleting and combining funding categories, but in the end the small modifications were the only adopted changes.  After much discussion about noxious weeds, the board determined the Trust had funded many noxious weed projects under the current categories.  Energy projects were discussed and the slight change of adding “including greenhouse gas reduction” was believed to address the issue at this time.

The next step is to schedule three public hearings, one in each congressional district this fall.  The current plan is to schedule meetings in Omaha, Lincoln and North Platte.  Watch the Trust website and news releases for the date and times of those meetings.  The Trust Board will approve the final funding categories at the February board meeting.


Defense Fund Policy

The Trust recently began requiring grantees that obtain conservation easements with Trust funds to establish a defense fund containing at least 10% of the easement’s value.  The 10% can be included in the grant application, as it is an eligible expense.  The fund is to be used in the future to defend the conservation easement, but the fund can also be used for monitoring the easement.

The Trust Board decided at the July 30, 2009, 3rd Quarter Board Policy Discussion Session that government agencies, including Natural Resources Districts, would not be required to set aside defense funds.  It was determined that government entities would be obligated to defend conservation easements held by them and a separate fund was unnecessary.


2015 Nebraska Environmental Trust Annual Report

The 2015 Annual Report was published in January 2016. The 2015 grant awards marked an incredible milestone for Nebraska Environmental Trust. Over $245 million has been awarded to more than 1,900 projects all across Nebraska.

Click on the links on the left to view the Annual Report in PDF format. You can also view the complete report in one file by clicking here.