NRD Basin Tour Explores the Platte River

NRD Basin Tour Explores the Platte River


LINCOLN, Nebraska – Approximately 65 directors and staff from Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) along with conservation partners convened in Kearney for the annual NRD Basin Tour hosted by the Central Platte NRD June 12-13, 2023.

The NRD Basin Tour explores a different water basin each year. The hosting NRD showcases conservation projects, partnerships and the local communities in which they live and work.

The Platte River's economic and cultural significance in Nebraska extends from its role in supporting agriculture, tourism, and recreation to its deep connections to Native American heritage, pioneer history, and environmental conservation.

Central Platte NRD General Manager Lyndon Vogt discussed how the Platte Basin is vital for drinking water, irrigation, municipal and industrial uses, wildlife, and recreation in Nebraska as well as water uses in Wyoming and Colorado.

“We appreciate the opportunity to share more about the proactive approach Central Platte NRD has taken to develop projects that conserve our resources and protect water users throughout the Basin,” Vogt said.

The Central Platte NRD boundaries reach from the Lincoln-Dawson county line near Gothenburg to Hwy 81 near Columbus. Major Nebraska river basins form the boundaries of the 23 NRDs, enabling districts to respond to local conservation and resource management needs with local solutions. While all NRDs share 12 main responsibilities, each district sets its own priorities and develops its own programs to best serve local needs. Serving central Nebraska, Central Platte NRD shares many of the same management challenges that other NRDs face across the state.

Vogt along with Assistant Manager Jess Mintken and Information/Education Specialist Marcia Lee led the two-day tour showcasing several projects that protect lives, property and the future in central Nebraska including groundwater recharge, flood reduction infrastructure and habitat restoration.

“Basin tours give NRD directors a unique look at the conservation challenges that are being faced around the state,” said Dr. Orval Gigstad, Nebraska Association of Resources Districts president and Nemaha NRD director. “It is interesting to see the diversity of natural resource issues and how local NRD boards develop solutions to benefit their communities and the state.”

The tour included several stops featuring conservation projects that protect both urban and rural natural resources. Some of the 2023 tour highlights included:

  • Upper Prairie-Silver-Moores Flood Reduction Project (Grand Island)
  • State Fairgrounds Outdoor Learning Area (Grand Island)
  • Wood River Flood Control - Hall County Park (Grand Island)
  • Platte Valley Industrial Park (Grand Island)
  • Alda & Plautz Crane Viewing Decks (Alda and Gibbon)
  • Elm and Turkey Creeks Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (Elm Creek)
  • B1 Reservoir and Wildlife Management Area (Lexington)
  • Cozad Ditch Company Headgates (Gothenburg)
  • Bayer Crop Science Water Utilization Learning Center (Gothenburg)

Approximately 65 directors and staff from Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) tour the Platte River Basin for the annual NRD Basin Tour June 12-13, 2023. The tour made at stop at Central Platte NRD’s crane viewing deck near Alda, Nebraska, on June 12.