res
 

 

A Publication of the Nebraska Environmental Trust

 

 

Dave Heineman, Governor

 

Board of Trustees

District I

Vincent Kramper - Dakota City

Rodney Christen - Steinauer

James Stuart, Jr. - Lincoln

 

 

District II

John Campbell - Omaha

Paul Dunn - Omaha

Robert Krohn - Omaha

 

District III

Sherry Vinton - Whitman

Barbara Batie - Lexington

Gloria Erickson - Holdrege

 

Agency Directors

Rex Amack, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Gregory Ibach, Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Mike Linder, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

Brian Dunnigan, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources

Dr. Joann Schaefer, Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health

 

Trust Staff

Mark Brohman Executive Director

Lisa Beethe
Grants Administrator

Tina Harris
Grants Assistant

Lori Moore
Administrative Secretary

Sheila Johnson
Public Information Officer

 

The Nebraska Environmental Trust
700 S 16th Street
P.O. Box 94913
Lincoln, NE 68509-4913

web site:

www. environmentaltrust.org

 

March 2010

 

In This Issue:

    1. Executive Director Corner
    2. Trust to release final rank order list at April 1st Board Meeting
    3. Grantee Seminars in April at three different locations (for awarded grantees only)
    4. 1st Quarter 2010 Public Information and Education Grants Update from Nebraska Academy of Sciences
    5. Organic Information Workshops Announced
    6. Weed Management Workshop Well Received
    7. Quantifying Evaporation, Crop Evapotranspiration and the Water Balance for Tilled and Untilled Fields
    8. NET Staff Members Complete Hunter Ed Classes
    9. Upcoming Events

     

Executive Director Corner

Spring has arrived, at least according to the calendar.  We all know that spring does not typically mean spring weather in Nebraska and Mother Nature usually has a few snows left for March and April, but before you know it, we’ll have 90 degree weather and we will long for the fall.

We look forward to meeting with many of the grant recipients during our grantee seminars in Lincoln, Grand Island and Scottsbluff on April 6, 7 and 8.  We will also be honoring our technical reviewers with a luncheon in Lincoln on April 1st prior to our next board meeting that afternoon.  Our reviewers deserve a big “thank you” for the important work they do for the Trust.  Their expert reviews and opinions aid the Trust board in their examination of submitted grants.  At the April 1st board meeting we will hold a public meeting and finalize our 2010 grant awards.

There are some very interesting and innovative projects proposed this year and we can’t wait to see them progress and come to fruition.  Some of the top ranked grants include continuing Nebraska’s Natural Legacy Project, working in the Shell Creek Watershed and prescribed burning in the Loess Canyons.  Be sure and check out the preliminary rank order list before April 1st and the final rank order list after April 1st.

We hope to see you at upcoming events around the state, including Earth Day in Omaha on April 17th and Lincoln on April 24th. Think Spring!

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director  

 

Trust to release final rank order list at April 1st Board Meeting

The board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust will release the final recommendations grants list at its next Board Meeting on April 1. The Board recommended the funding of 88 projects for a total of $14,970,328 in grant awards at its board meeting on February 4th. Of these, 32 are carry-over projects.

The Trust received a total 142 applications requesting over $54 million compared to $26 million two years ago. This is the 17th year of grants from the Trust, which has provided over $142 million dollars in lottery revenue to preserve and protect the air, water and land of our state. This is the second highest amount requested in the history of the Trust. The highest amount of $58,935,806.20 was requested in 1999.

Grantee Seminars in April at three different location (for awarded grantees only)

The Trust will be holding a series of grantee seminars throughout the state for all grantees that will receive Trust funding in 2010. The seminars will be held at the following locations:

  • Lincoln - Tuesday, April 6, 2010, Lincoln Woman's Club, 407 South 14th Street, Lincoln, NE
  • Grand Island - Wednesday, April 7, 2010, Central Platte NRD, 215 N Kaufman Avenue, Grand Island, NE
  • Scottsbluff - Thursday, April 8, 2010, North Platte NRD, 100547 Airport Road, Scottsbluff, NE

Invitations to these events have already been sent to grantees.

1st Quarter 2010 Public Information and Education Mini-grants from Nebraska Academy of Sciences

The Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Inc. received 13 applications totaling $34,830.00 for the first quarter 2010 Public Information and Education Mini-grants funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. 

The 2010 first quarter PIE Grant applications were due January 8th. Thirteen applications were received which were reviewed in February and awarded in early March. Four grants were awarded to 1) the Nebraska Alliance for Conservation and Environmental Education - $2875, 2) Wildcat Audubon and Wildcat Hills Initiative - $3000, 3) Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc.- $2675, and 4) Sheridan Elementary School in Lincoln - $3000.

The Nebraska Environmental Trust Public Information and Education MiniGrant Program  awards MiniGrants of up to $3,000 each, to support the presentation and dissemination of information and perspectives that will stimulate enhanced environmental stewardship in any category eligible for Nebraska Environmental Trust funding.  These categories are habitat, surface and ground water, waste management, air quality and soil management. The grants expand dialogue on important current conservation topics and provide information on emerging or highly useful conservation methods. 

Organic Information Workshops Announced

Currently, Nebraska NRCS has 1.5 million dollars for the EQIP Organic Transition Program for the 2010 growing season. This program can provide farmers/ranchers up to $20,000 per year in incentives to help make the transition to organic production. But making the switch is much more than a practice here or there. It involves a complete system change in how the farm/ranch is managed. To help growers make informed decisions on whether organic is a good fit on their farm/ranch, the Northeast Nebraska RC&D is sponsoring four, no-fee information meetings in northeast Nebraska. The 1st workshop was held on March 17th at Concord, Haskel Ag Lab. There are three remaining workshops for interested parties:

  • March 23rd - Pierce, Town and Country Insurance Building, 1 - 4 pm.
  • March 24th Wayne, The Max Again, 9 a.m. - noon
  • March 25th - Neligh, Antelope County Courthouse basement meeting room, 1- 4 pm.

These informal meetings are designed to answer your questions about organic production. Weeds, fertility, erosion, rules & regulations are just of few of the anticipated topics. Funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, these meetings are part of a state-wide project to help agency staff and farmers and ranchers better understand the rules and regulations governing organic production. Although these meetings are designed to be a service, reservations are appreciated. For more details and to reserve space at these meetings, contact: Northeast Nebraska RC&D 402-582-4866, email: carol.peters@rcdnet.net, or Martin Kleinschmit 402-254-3310; or your local NRCS office in Dixon, Pierce, Antelope and Wayne County.  

Weed Management Workshop Well Received

workshop

Twenty-eight interested landowners, students and resource providers participated in the Northeast Nebraska Weed Management Area educational workshop on Wednesday, March 10th at the Lindy Country Club.  Doug Smith, Chair of the weed management area and Dixon Co. Weed Superintendent, led the session with an update on the group’s activities.  The majority of their efforts have been centered on the use of biological control insects for purple loosestrife, leafy spurge, Canada thistle and spotted knapweed.  However, saltcedar control efforts by the weed management group along the Missouri and Niobrara Rivers have consisted of using backpack sprayers and hand-pulling to keep this weed in check. 

The results from using insect control measures take many years to be seen, but great strides have been made especially with purple loosestrife.  Protecting the western prairie fringed orchid has been a priority so moving away from chemical control in areas where both the orchid and leafy spurge reside has been a proactive effort.  Over the past two years bugs have also been released in heavily infested areas of Canada thistle. 

By using integrated weed control, a combination of management activities such as planned grazing and prescribed fire along with chemical treatments and biocontrol, producers should see improved results.  

Workshop sponsors included the Northern Prairie Lands Trust, Nebraska Game & Parks Natural Legacy Program, Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Northeast Nebraska RC&D Council.  Just recently the RC&D Council was notified that a third year of Nebraska Environmental Trust funds for the Weed Management Area was recommended at the $25,000 level with the majority of those funds going toward the purchase of biological control insects.

(Article and photo submitted by Jan Jorgensen)  

Quantifying Evaporation, Crop Evapotranspiration and the Water Balance for Tilled and Untilled Fields

evaporation

 

"Quantifying the Evaporation, Evapotranspiration and Water Balances of Tilled and Untilled Fields using Field Measurements and Remote Sensing/satellite Technology" is a joint partnership of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

The impacts of soil and water conservation measures on Nebraska's water supplies have become a key question facing water and land managers in the state. How much water use difference can be expected under different tillage practices? What is the seasonal and annual evaporation and evapotranspiration from a no-till field versus tilled field? What are the impacts of tillage practices on surface run-off, infiltration, deep percolation, groundwater recharge, and on soil physical properties?  Do the impacts of tillage practices change with the number of years they’ve been implemented? The Nebraska Environmental Trust, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Nebraska Department of Natural Resources are partnering on large scale field research and education projects to address these questions.

The field research sites are located in Fillmore County near Geneva. Two Bowen Ratio Energy Balance Systems (BREBS) were installed in center pivot-irrigated corn/soybean rotation with no-till and disk-tilled fields in June and July of 2008 to measure evapotranspiration, soil heat flux, sensible heat flux, all components of solar and net radiation envelopes, soil moisture, soil temperature, precipitation, temperature and humidity gradients, and many other variables on an hourly basis throughout the year. Two fields have a history of being either on till or disk-till practice for the last seven years. Both fields have the same or very similar soil characteristics, slope, and management practices (i.e., planting date, depth, hybrid, planting directions, irrigation management, etc.). The only difference is the tillage practices. Soil physiological parameters such as leaf area index and plant height, are measured in both fields on a weekly basis. Surface run-off, infiltration, deep percolation, and soil physical properties are measured in several locations in each field. The percentage and amount of residue are measured on selected days. Remote sensing/satellite and airborne hyper-spectral technologies are being applied to estimate actual evapotranspiration and other surface fluxes and parameters from tilled and untilled fields. Two additional BREBs will be installed to replicate the study in a drier part of the state near Holdrege.

These projects will provide a better understanding of daily, monthly, seasonal and annual evaporation and evapotranspiration losses from the no-till and conventional till fields.  The projects will improve the water balance determinations and address the impact of tillage practices on water balances. Project findings and knowledge will be transferred to citizens through publications and presentations of findings to help growers and their advisors to enhance irrigation practices and agricultural productivity. The project findings will aid policy and decision-makers and help state and local water agencies to better assess consumptive water use and make more informed decisions in integrated water management planning efforts.

For more information, contact : Suat Irmak, UNL-Department of Biological Systems Engineering. E-mail: sirmak2@unl.edu; Phone: 402-472-4865.

 

NET Staff Complete Hunter Ed Classes

hunter_ed

Hunter Ed Class

Lori Moore and Sheila Johnson both attended a special hunter education class with 13 other NGPC staff over lunch time for a week. The class is part of the RDR plan #10 to encourage hunting and fishing among Game and Park employees. The Hunter Ed class is geared towards familiarizing employees with hunter safety and ethical standards to be practiced when out in the fields.

 

Upcoming Events:

  • April 1, 2010 - 2nd Quarter Nebraska Environmental Trust Board Meeting
  • April 6, 2010 - NET Grantee Seminar, Lincoln
  • April 7, 2010 - NET Grantee Seminar, Grand Island
  • April 8, 2010 - NET Grantee Seminar, Scottsbluff
  • April 17, 2010 - Earth Day Omaha, Elmwood Park, Omaha
  • April 24, 2010 - Earth Day Lincoln - Antelope Park, Lincoln
  • May 11, 2010 - Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival, Central Community College and College Park, Grand Island
  • May 15, 2010 - Nebraska Outdoor Expo, Fort Kearny State Recreation Area

 

Spread the Word

If you know someone who would like to receive Resource every month, they can add their name to our e-mail list using the form at www.environmentaltrust.org You can also send an e-mail to Sheila Johnson to subscribe.

Do you have an event you would like to announce in RESOURCE? Send your event details to Sheila Johnson and we will include it in our next mailing.