Spalding Fish Passage “Open House” February 26, 2015

An open house has been scheduled for Thursday, February 26, 2015 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Spalding Fire Hall, 101 West Memorial Drive, Spalding, Nebraska to provide area residents information on the design and construction of the Spalding Fish Passage Project on the Cedar River.  Currently, the dam at Spalding prevents the upstream migration of fish.  This project will install a Denil style fish passage system around the dam that will allow fish to navigate the river both upstream and downstream of the dam.

A study done in 2000 revealed that the 27 miles of Cedar River between the Spalding and Ericson dams contained virtually no channel catfish.  Another study completed in 2003, when the dam was offline for repairs for a significant amount of time, revealed numerous catfish in that same stretch of river between Spalding and Ericson.  Additional sampling studies in 2006 and 2007, after the dam repairs were complete, again revealed virtually no catfish in the river.

While previous studies of the river and the fish passage design focused on channel catfish, all fish species native to the Cedar River should be able to utilize the fish passage.  Among others, this can include the shorthead redhorse, sauger, and flathead chub.

Design of the project is complete and construction will likely begin in March.  While the Nebraska Environmental Trust is funding the majority of the construction, the project holds many other Sponsors including the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Village of Spalding, and the Loup Basin RC&D Council.

Please attend the public meeting on Thursday February 26, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Spalding Fire Hall.  Project sponsors and engineers will be available for one on one project discussion and to answer your questions about this unique and important project. For additional information about the Spalding Fish Passage open house, contact the Loup Basin RC&D office (308)346-3393.           Follow the project on Twitter #SpaldingFishLadder
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Recycle Cardboard & Livestock Supplement Tubs

Recycle “collapsed” Corrugated Cardboard and Livestock Tubs seven days a week in the semi-trailer parked near the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center (Plain Valley District 13 one-room schoolhouse), 330 South Highway 11, Burwell, Nebraska.  The Loup Basin RC&D Council and Custer County Recycling are partnering on a grant awarded for the semi-trailer by the Nebraska Environmental Trust through the Nebraska State Recycling Association, Country Partners CO-OP and the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway to expand the need to recycle corrugated cardboard and livestock supplement tubs.  Janet Sanders, Executive Director, Loup Basin RC&D Council said “the semi-trailer gives households and area businesses a means to dispose their corrugated cardboard on a larger scale without having to prepare the cardboard for trash collection.” Janet also stated “community members are encouraged to put their flattened corrugated cardboard boxes including food and product boxes such as cereal, pasta, jello, pancake/waffle mix, pizza boxes, frozen food boxes, shoe boxes, cores from paper towels & toilet tissue, and more on up into the semi-trailer.”

Andrea Seidel, Feed Salesperson for Country Partners CO-OP Ord, Nebraska said “Country Partners Cooperative is pleased to announce their partnership with the Loup Basin RC&D!  Keeping cattle and other livestock healthy is important to every operation and livestock supplement tubs are a great way to insure your animal’s health, but sometimes empty tubs can multiply and take up space.  Our partnership with the Loup Basin RC&D allows producers to recycle the empty livestock supplement tubs that are marked with the #2 on the bottom of the tub.  Producers are welcome to drop off clean, empty tubs at the recycling truck located by the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center, 330 South Highway 11 Burwell, Nebraska.  On behalf of Country Partners Cooperative and the Loup Basin RC & D we would like to thank the producers for taking part in this recycling project.”

In addition to the expansion of recycling flattened corrugated cardboard and livestock supplement tubs at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway; the Loup Basin RC&D Council’s recycling trailer at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway is available for community members to recycle newspapers, plastic and aluminum cans.

The trailer was grant-funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust through the Nebraska State Recycling Association (NSRA) to be used at area festivals, parades and community events. The NSRA grant was one of 132 grants in 2014 receiving $21.7 million. The Trust is funded by proceeds from the Nebraska Lottery which has awarded more than $213 million to over 1,600 natural resource projects in Nebraska since 1993.

The Nebraska State Recycling Association is a non-profit, membership organization of public and private organizations, as well as individuals, and has been a recycling advocate for Nebraska since 1980. Betty Carlson, President of the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway said “this is a great opportunity for our community members to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway welcomes community members to volunteer with the recycling upkeep. Contact: Janet Sanders, Executive Director, Loup Basin RC&D to sign up as a volunteer at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway.”

For more information about the Loup Basin Resource, Conservation and Development Council’s Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle project please visit their website at http://www.loupbasinrcd.org/ or email [email protected] The Loup Basin RC&D Council serves Blaine, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Howard, Loup, Sherman, Valley and Wheeler counties in Nebraska.  Contact the Loup Basin RC&D Office (308) 346-3393 or stop by the office at 807 H ST, Burwell, Nebraska.

Village of Spalding receives Nebraska Environmental Trust Grant

June 16, 2014 – Village of Spalding announced today that it will receive $400,872.00 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the “Fishery Restoration on the Cedar River” project. The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its meeting on April 3, 2014 in Lincoln. The project is one of the 132 projects receiving $21,750,000 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 56 were new applications and 76 are carry-over projects.

Numerous dams have been built on Nebraska streams since settlement began.  That these dams stopped upstream fish movements and had negative impacts on our stream fishes was first mentioned in the 1883 Report of the Board of Fish Commissioners.  While many of these dams have disappeared over the years, others still exist and provide benefits.  They also continue to block the movement of fishes.  The Spalding dam is one of these.  The purpose of the Spalding Dam is to provide water to a hydroelectric powerhouse located just east of the dam.  The channel catfish is Nebraska’s most important stream sport fish.  The Cedar River should be an important catfish fishery however, a study done in 2000 revealed that the 27 miles of Cedar River between the Spalding and Ericson Dams had virtually no catfish.  That the dam was the cause of this problem was revealed in 2003 when the river at this site had to return to a free-flowing state while the powerhouse underwent repair.  Netting above the dam that summer found many catfish in the river above the dam.  Subsequent sampling in 2006 and 2007, after repairs were complete, revealed that the river above the dam again had no channel catfish.  The focus is on the channel catfish because that is the species for which we have the most information.  However, all fishes native to the Cedar River could use the fishway to repopulate the river above the dam.  Among others, this can include the shorthead redhorse (a nongame fish), the sauger (a sport fish), and the flathead chub (a species of concern).  The intention is to construct fishway which will allow native Nebraska fishes to bypass the Spalding Dam.  The project is shovel-ready as construction plans and specifications have been completed.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $213 million in grants to over 1,600 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.

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For updates to the Fishery Restoration on the Cedar River check the project page at Fishery Restoration on the Cedar River

Loup Basin RC&D Council receives a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant

Pictured left to right: Mark Brohman, Executive Director Nebraska Environmental and Janet Sanders, Executive Director Loup Basin RC&D Council.Nebraska Environmental Trust - Grand Island Seminar 2014

Loup Basin Resource Conservation and Development Council announced today that it will receive $62,500.00 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the “Pollination = Preservation” project. The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its meeting on April 3, 2014 in Lincoln. This is the second and final year of award. The project is one of the 132 projects receiving $21,750,000 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 56 were new applications and 76 are carry-over projects.

The insects that pollinate native plants and crops are essential components of Nebraska’s habitats and ecosystems. Pollinator habitat, and many wild pollinators are disappearing from Nebraska’s landscape. Presence of wild pollinators can equal preservation of rare plants.

This project aims to increase pollinator populations and public awareness of pollinator protection through pollinator habitat development and restoration along the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway. They will educate local residents and visitors on the importance of pollinators and their role in the ecosystem. Butterfly/pollinator gardens will be developed to attract and sustain pollinators, resulting in improved wildlife habitat. Technical assistance will be provided as communities and individuals develop their gardens. The project will add ecotourism options to the Nebraska’s Junk Jaunt® tourism promotions to recruit participants and to attract and educate visitors from other towns and states.

Activities will include community outreach, meetings and educational workshops on pollinators and habitat development. Fifteen pollinator gardens will be developed and will receive subsidized plant materials. Schools and youth groups will be included in activities. Information on water quality and quantity and soil conservation will be provided by NRD and NRCS partners, and trainers will include experts in the field, i.e. Xerces Society, the Center for Rural Affairs, etc. A strong media component will bring attention to the project and attract tourists who will also learn the importance of pollinators and their role in the ecosystem. Participating communities will be able to earn a Certified Butterfly Garden certificate. Materials gathered and developed will be available in the future at the Burwell Butterfly Pavilion.

The project will result in increased pollinator populations and improved habitat for wildlife, enhance economic development of the region, and reach beyond local communities as tourists visit and learn. The project will serve as a model for the rest of the state.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $213 million in grants to over 1,600 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.

Pollination = Preservation Project information page

$170,000 will Support Small Business, Job Creation Opportunities and Train Entrepreneurs in Rural Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska July 2, 2013 – USDA Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul today announced the selection of four projects to support small business, job creation opportunities and train entrepreneurs in rural Nebraska.  The four organizations will receive funds from the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program.  USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

The National Association of Resource Conservation & Development Councils Announces Award to Loup Basin RC&D Council

The National Association of Resource Conservation & Development Councils

Announces Award to Loup Basin RC&D Council 

                The National Association of Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Councils is pleased to announce that Loup Basin RC&D Council of Ord, Nebraska has been reauthorized as an enhanced (Tier II) member of the National Association’s Circle of Diamonds program, thus maintaining its elite status as one of just 25 RC&D Councils (out of 375 nationwide) to have qualified for enhanced membership.

By earning reauthorization, the RC&D Council has clearly confirmed its ability to adhere to the high standards necessary for enhanced membership. It follows an array of governance, personnel, financial management, and planning policies and practices that ensure its effective action and transparent and honest administration.