Lake Maloney Clean Up Re-scheduled
Monday, 15 March 2010 12:42

The Lake Maloney Clean Up event has been postponed until March 27th.  According to Keep North Platte/Lincoln county Beautiful Executive Director Mindy Hope, the shorelines of the lake are "too muddy and too messy" right now.

Water as "Nebraska's Greatest Treasure"
Monday, 15 March 2010 12:19

"Nebraska's Greatest Treasure" is the title of the next "Sunday with a Scientist" lecture series from the University of Nebraska State Museum.  Rachael Herpel of the UNL Water Center and Jamie Oltman of The Groundwater Foundation aim to help people better understand how ground and surface water systems function and interact, as well as the impact they have on our lives.  The presentation is at 1:30pm, this Sunday, March 21st at Morrill Hall on the UNL campus.

Two Serious Pests Attacking Nebraska's Pines
Monday, 15 March 2010 12:10

Nebraska's pine trees are under attack from two serious pests – the mountain pine beetle and pine wilt disease. The mountain pine beetle, a small insect that has killed millions of acres of pines in the western U.S. and Canada, was identified last year on pines in several western Nebraska counties. So far, the insect has killed only a few trees at several scattered locations, but it can kill many trees easily when conditions are right.

Forest health experts with the Nebraska Forest Service said mountain pine beetle attacks have been reported in Scottsbluff, Gering, Minatare, Kimball, Sidney, and areas of the Wildcat Hills and Pine Ridge. Mark Harrell, Nebraska Forest Service forest health program leader, said adult mountain pine beetles bore into pines from July through October, leaving small, marble-sized masses of resin, called pitch tubes, on the trunk.

Balancing Niobrara River's Many Uses
Friday, 12 March 2010 13:16

Is the Niobrara River more valuable as a water supply for irrigators, as a source for electrical generation, or for the tourism dollars generated by its scenic beauty and recreational appeal?

Economist Steven Shultz has been asked by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to consider this question as it considers whether to seek protections for the benefit of wildlife and recreation on the Niobrara.

The river's multiple uses seem to be in a state of equilibrium for now, Shultz said. Recreational users complain more about the peak-season crowds than they do about too-low water levels.

Kirk Nelson, assistant Game and Parks director, said the Commission is continuing to gather information. It will be at least two years, he said, before a decision is made whether to seek Niobrara flow protections.

Read the full article about the Niobrara's multiple uses from the Omaha World-Herald.

Deer and Mountain Lions Targeted by Legislature
Friday, 12 March 2010 13:12

Lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday aimed at reducing the overpopulation of deer in certain parts of the state.  They also approved an amendment allowing the shooting of mountain lions that are preying on livestock or threatening humans.

Read the full article about the deer and mountain lion bills from the Omaha World-Herald.

Wind Energy Bill Advances
Friday, 12 March 2010 13:08

The Legislature's Natural Resources Committee voted 8-0 on Wednesday evening to advance a wind energy bill, LB 1048, to debate by all lawmakers.  The purpose of LB 1048 is to encourage development of large, privately-owned wind farms that would export power to other states, while not harming the state's unique public power structure.  Debate on the bill could begin as early as next week.

Read the full article about the wind energy bill from the Omaha World-Herald.

Lake Maloney Clean Up Scheduled
Friday, 12 March 2010 13:02

As repair work continues on the Lake Maloney Dam near North Platte, water levels are at an all time low, exposing discarded cans, bottles and other trash and the possibility of a few treasurers.

Nebraska Public Power District and Keep North Platte and Lincoln County Beautiful are sponsoring a clean up day at Lake Maloney on Saturday, March 13.

Get more information about the Lake Maloney Clean-Up from the North Platte Telegraph.

Forest Thinning Around Wildcat Hills Nature Center
Friday, 12 March 2010 12:55

Wildfire risk to the Wildcat Hills Nature Center near Scottsbluff will be reduced by a 12 acre forest thinning project to begin later this month.  According to Mike Groenewold, a park horticulturist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, "Most of the healthy, largest trees are being retained, with more thinning done in the forest understory."

A public question-and-answer session is planned for from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center south of Gering. Groenewold and Park Superintendent Russ McKeehan will be available to answer questions about the project.

Read the full article about the Wildcat Hills Nature Center forest thinning from the Scottsbluff Star-Herald.

Republican River Task Force Proposal Advances
Friday, 12 March 2010 12:37

A bill that would create a task force to deal with water issues in the Republican River Basin was advanced from general file March 12.

LB1057, introduced by Holdrege Sen. Tom Carlson, would create the Republican River Basin Water Sustainability Task Force, whose purpose would be to develop a plan to reach water sustainability and avoid water-short years. The task force would present a final report to the Legislature by May 15, 2012.

Learn more about the proposed Republican River Basin Task Force from the Unicameral Update.

Water Planning Option for NRDs passes
Friday, 12 March 2010 12:28

All natural resources districts may develop plans for the management of water resources under a bill passed by the Legislature March 11.

LB764, introduced by Valentine Sen. Deb Fischer, permits NRDs in areas not declared fully appropriated or over appropriated to create integrated management plans (IMPs) with the state Department of Natural Resources to achieve and sustain a long-term balance between water users and water supplies.

Read the full article at the Unicameral Update.

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