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

May 2010

In This Issue

  1. Executive Director Corner
  2. Over $750,000 in Grant Dollars Towards Recycling
  3. Keep Alliance Beautiful Gets Funding From Trust For Recycling Equipment
  4. Platte Valley and West Central Weed Management Area’s Invasive Species Control in the Central Platte River
  5. Board Member Feature - Brian Dunnigan
  6. Upcoming Events

 

Executive Director Corner

Just when you think summer is around the corner in Nebraska we get some cold weather and even snow in western Nebraska.  I heard the term “Sprinter” used the other day, which is spring and winter combined.  It is hard to believe it is almost summer on the calendar.

In April the Trust staff hit the road and held a couple Grantee Seminars across the state to familiarize grant recipients with the requirements of the Trust and ways to publicize their grants.  We held seminars in Lincoln on April 6, Grand Island on April 7 and Scottsbluff on April 8.  It was good to get out and meet the grant recipients, discuss their grants and answer their questions.    

The Trust participated in Earth Day celebrations in Omaha on April 17th and in Lincoln on April 24th.  We also attended the Ground Water Festival in Grand Island on May 11th and the Game and Parks Commission’s Outdoor Expo at Fort Kearny on May 15th.  

The Trust’s Ad-Hoc Land Committee will be meeting on June 7th and 25th at the Ferguson House in Lincoln to discuss land acquisition and easement issues along with land tax concerns.

Schools will be getting out for summer break soon and families will begin taking family vacations.  Don’t forget some of Nebraska’s treasures.  Places like the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park, canoeing the Niobrara River and seeing Smith Falls, Fort Robinson, Chimney Rock, Lake McConaughy and so much more.  Spend a day or a week seeing Nebraska’s treasures.

Safe travels.  

Mark A. Brohman
Executive Director    

 

Over $750,000 in Grant Dollars Towards Recycling

The Nebraska Environmental Trust awarded a total of $758,106 towards nine recycling projects in its 2010 Grant Cycle. Recycling has always been a large component and one of the main priorities of the Trust. The Trust received 14 recycling or recycling related project applications this cycle. Out of these, 65 percent of these projects were funded. Some projects are multi-year projects and have the potential to receive additional funding in the future.
 
Some of these projects include:

  • Logger/Baler for appliances and public clean-ups by US Recycling Co.
  • Nebraska asphalt shingle recycling program by R2R Recycling, LLC
  • Recycling and solid waste management by the City of Lincoln
  • Utilizing poultry feathers and used plastic bags for high value products by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln

 

Keep Alliance Beautiful Gets Funding From Trust For Recycling Equipment

Keep Alliance Beautiful (KAB) will be using Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) grant funds awarded for 2010 – 12 to support education programming funding and recycling equipment.  The KAB recycling program has developed from purchase of a recycling separation trailer in 2001 to an operational recycling center in 2010. NET provided funding in 2009 for a baler used primarily for cardboard.

New plans for this first year of the 3 year cycle include the hiring of personnel to help operate the center on a regular basis.  Prior to this year, the center was open by appointment only.  Proposed education programs include Recycling Ambassadors (3 years), Students for Recycling (3 years), and a Water Bottle re-use program.   The NET grant will also help fund equipment needed at the recycling center.

 

Platte Valley and West Central Weed Management Area’s Invasive Species Control in the Central Platte River

(Article submitted by Rich Walters)

In 2009 the Platte Valley Weed Management Area (PVWMA) and West Central Weed Management Area (WCWMA), collectively referred to as WMA’s, collaborated to apply and receive grant funding for invasive plant species control within the Platte River channels. This joint effort allowed a larger landscape approach. The WMA’s consist of 12 counties in south-central Nebraska. The WMA boundary is Kingsley Dam on the North Platte River, the Keith/Deuel county line on the South Platte through the convergence at the town of North Platte, continuing downstream to Columbus, Nebraska. Approximately 336 river miles of the Platte River flow through the WMA’s. Prior estimates have shown over 14,000 acres of Phragmites infestation within this river stretch. Other invasive plants such as salt cedar, Russian olive trees and purple loosestrife also inhabit this stretch of the river. The western half of the river in this project area is classified as over-appropriated, and the remaining portion is classified as fully appropriated.

Primary focus of the WMA’s is controlling invasive phragmites. Phragmites has taken over low-lying areas along the Platte River including riverbanks, wetlands, meadows, side channels, sloughs and sandbars. Theses infestations have constricted channels, increasing flooding potential and reducing wildlife habitat.

 Major control efforts started in both WMA’s in 2008-09. 2009-10 efforts continued with aerial herbicide application on phragmites and initial biomass removal. 7,455 additional acres were sprayed and 607 acres were removed (additional acres are proposed for late winter 2010). During 2009-10 93.5% of all funds were used for control measures, 5% was used for project coordination and travel costs, and the remaining expenses were monitoring, public outreach and legal/insurance costs.

 

Board Member Feature - Brian Dunnigan

 

briandunnigan

 

Brian Dunnigan is the Director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.

Mr. Dunnigan is currently the Director for the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. He has been employed as an engineer by the State of Nebraska for the past 26 years and has worked in the areas of bridge design, floodplain management, dam safety, and water administration. Previously, he served as Acting Director and Deputy Director.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Nebraska and a Certified Floodplain Manager. He grew up in Lincoln and graduated from Lincoln East. He was a member of the University of Nebraska Track and Field team for four years.

 

 

Upcoming Events    

  • June 12, 2010 - 3rd Biennial Waterfest at Holmes Lake
  • June 18-19, 2010 - Cleaner Greener Lincoln
  • July 29-30, 2010 - NET 3rd Quarter Board Meeting
  • August 27-September 6, 2010 - Nebraska State Fair
  • September 14-16, 2010 - Husker Harvest Days
  • September 18-19, 2010 - Missouri River Outdoor Expo
  • September 19, 2010 - World O! Water Festival

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