Upcoming Events

April 2018

18       Public Meeting-

Middle Niobrara NRD 10 AM CT

22 Earth Day

27    Arbor Day

May 2018

10 Board Meeting/Public Hearing-

ULNRD Office 7 PM CT

28     Memorial Day- Office Closed

June 2018

7 Board Meeting-

ULNRD Office 7 PM CT

10-13 ACE Camp








Revised Rules and Regulations

The Upper Loup NRD will be conducting a public hearing on Thursday May 10, 2018 in regards to proposed amendments to the Ground Water Management Area Rules and Regulations. The public hearing will provide an opportunity for the ULNRD to receive written and oral public testimony pertaining to the proposed revisions. The revisions include: adding definitions for acre foot and depletion, adding installation practices on electric flowmeters when chemigating Rule 19.02.3, removing flow meter Rules 19.02.7 & 19.03.1, changing transfer and expansion of irrigated acre permit fees, Rules 20.06.8 & 21.11.6, to $100 per application of 25 acres or less and $500 per application of over 25 acres, adding limiting new irrigation development to 50% of annual available stream depletions, Rule 21, and updating ranking criteria to read stream delpetions instead of proximity, lastly removing acre certification form description Rule 22.06.2. A full "red lined" text copy of the amended Ground Water Management Area Rules and Regulations can be found here.


Public Meeting Notice

The Niobrara River Basin Alliance will hold a Regular Board Meeting, at 10:00 a.m. CST on Monday, April 16, 2018 at the Middle Niobrara NRD, 303 East Highway 20, Valentine, NE.  An agenda of the matters to be considered at such date, time, and place is kept continually current, and is available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Upper Niobrara White Natural Resources District, 430 E 2nd Street, Chadron, Nebraska.  Persons who require auxiliary aids or special accommodations to attend or participate in the hearing should contact Patrick O’Brien at 308-432-6190 to make the necessary arrangements.


Upper Loup NRD has Director Opening in Sub-District 4

Natural Resource Districts (NRDs) have local leadership responsibility for protecting groundwater from overuse and pollution; soil conservation; planting trees and wildlife habitat; flood control; improving urban conservation; and recreation. Often, the NRD builds partnerships with other agencies and organizations, including the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, universities, municipalities, counties, and private organizations, in an effort to provide local control and local solutions to natural resources challenges.

The Upper Loup NRD is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors. The district is divided into 5 sub-districts; two board members are elected from each sub-district, and one at-large member is elected. Candidates for sub-district board positions must reside in the sub-district for which they are elected; the at-large board member must reside within the boundaries of the URNRD. Directors serve four-year terms, with half of the Board seats up for election every two years.

The Upper Loup Natural Resources District (NRD) is seeking an individual to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors from the sub-district 4 area.  This area includes all of Blaine County and the southern portion of Brown County.  

The ULNRD Board of Directors is responsible for aiding in establishing District and conservation policies (NSWCP), rules and regulations, and adopting the necessary budget, in order to fulfill the responsibilities of the District as authorized and required by law.  The day-to-day management as well as helping establish policies, programs, rules and regulations is the General Manager’s responsibility.  Not only do the board members make decisions about conservation programs at the District level, they also bring a wealth of local judgment and experience when adapting state and national programs to local situations. 

The Board holds regularly scheduled monthly meetings on the second Thursday of every month at the NRD office in Thedford.      

Applicants need to submit a letter indicating their interest to serve to the Upper Loup NRD, 39252 Highway 2, Thedford, NE  69166 by Monday March 26th.  More information can be obtained by calling 308-645-2250. 



2018 Clean Diesel Rebate

The Department of Environmental Quality’s Nebraska Clean Diesel Rebate Program is offering rebates to replace eligible agricultural irrigation pump diesel engines with electric motors.

The application deadline for this program has been extended to 5:00 pm on February 15, 2018.

NDEQ will reimburse 60% of the cost of the new electric motor, instillation, and required electrical infrastructure (including electric service line extension) up to a maximum rebate of $16,200.

The pump engine owner is responsible for the remainder of the project costs (mandatory cost-share). Replacement incentives offered by electric service providers may be used to pay a portion of the mandatory cost-share. No other federal grant funds may be used to cover any portion of the mandatory cost-share.

In order to ensure emissions reductions are achieved through this program, the diesel engine being replaced must be permanently disabled within 90 days of replacement. Replacement projects must be completed by August 30, 2018.

NDEQ anticipates awarding rebates for five irrigation pump engine replacements. Individual applicants may submit one application for a rebate for one engine. The number of irrigation pump engine rebates will be determined by NDEQ after evaluating applications for all Nebraska Clean Diesel programs.

More information and application materials can be found at the following web page: http:/


Upper Loup NRD's Efforts to Decrease Eastern Red Cedar Invasion

The Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a tree native to much of Nebraska and is one of the few conifer species that grows well in our sandy soils.  Historically, cedar windbreaks have been used in the Sandhills as protection around houses and as protection for livestock from storms.  However, it has been rapidly expanding into locations and habitats where it was formerly rare or unknow.  When this happens, it can threaten livestock production, grassland wildlife, water resources as well as public safety from wildfires.  Thus, becoming an increasing ecological and economic issue. 

Cattle production declines as much as 75 percent after grasslands are invaded by cedar. Cedars shade out grasses beneath their canopies, directly removing grass available to cattle, while also reducing grass health and species diversity.

Cedar invasion also affects the ability to reduce the risk of, and suppress, wildfires.

Cedar invasion reduces water availability because of its increased water use and interception compared to range grasses and forbs. Cedar may also change stream and river channels and alter flows.

There are several methods to control or kill cedars that the Upper Loup NRD provides cost share assistance for.  Eligible practices include: biological (grazing or insects), mechanical (use of hand methods and or larger equipment), chemical (only those approved by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture may be used, and in accordance with label directions), and prescribed burns (in accordance with NRCS burn policies and procedures).

Another option is not planting cedars.  At the December board meeting the Directors voted to discontinue cost-sharing on cedar trees, planting, mulching and providing drip line for cedar trees. The NRD understands that there are some producers that like the cedars and want to continue to plant them.  Therefore, the Upper Loup will continue to order, sell, plant and mulch cedars for those producers however, all costs associated with the cedars will be at the producer’s expense.