Groundwater and surface water development, management, utilization, conservation/pollution control.
NRCS works closely with individual operators on irrigation water management with center pivot systems and surface irrigation systems. This work addresses the development, management, utilization, and conservation of irrigation water. There is approximately 407,000 acres of irrigated cropland in the North Platte NRD. An Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) Priority area has been established within the NRD. The EQIP contracts address irrigation water management within the priority area. EQIP contracts outside the priority area have also addresses irrigation water management. Two Water Quality Incentive Programs (WQIP) have been approved within the NRD. NRCS developed the contracts and worked closely with the cooperators who signed up for the program. Data gathered from this program has provided valuable information that has been used by different state and federal agencies. NRCS is the technical agency for the NRD and NSWCP cost share programs. NRCS has planned, designed, and installed many center pivot conversions from high pressure systems to low pressure systems and have designed and installed thousands of feet of underground pipeline for irrigation systems.
Erosion prevention and control; soil conservation
NRCS works closely with individual operators on the installation of soil conservation measures throughout the NRD. There is approximately 903,000 acres of cropland in the NRD with over 96% of this land being highly erodable. The following programs are used to apply conservation measures on the land. EQIP contracts within and outside the priority area are used to accomplish the establishment of these practices. The NSWCP and NRD cost share programs have been used extensively to meet conservation goals. In the 1998-1999 year almost $152,000 has been allocated to the NRD for conservation practices. The Conservation Reserve Program has been very effective in taking highly erodible land out of production and putting it back into grass. NRCS and our conservation partners are in the early stages of requesting Environmental Trust Funds for some of the larger erosion control structures within the NRD.
Flood prevention and control/prevention of damages from floodwater and sediment/drainage improvement and channel rectification
NRCS works closely with the NRD and other federal and state agencies to address flood prevention and control. NRCS provides the technical expertise to landowners and other agencies to address this problem. In the past, PL-566 funds have been used in the Gering Valley Flood Control Project, which is nearing completion. NSWCP funs have also been used to complete this work.
Foresty and Range management
NRCS works closely with individual cooperators in planning windbreaks and the maintenance of the windbreaks. The NRD typically sells between 150,000 and 200,000 trees and shrubs annually for conservation planning. Technicians and conservationists work closely with NRD personnel in the planning of windbreaks. Within the NRD there is approximately 2,107,000 acres of rangeland and 68,000 acres of pastureland. NRCS is able to address most range management needs with the two Range Management Specialists located in the NRD. Great Plains contracts, EQIP contracts, NSWCP and NRD cost share funds are utilized to apply conservation practices on rangeland.
Development and management of habitat for fish and wildlife/facilities for parks and recreation
NRCS works closely with individual operators on the development of wildlife areas within the NRD. NRCS has utilized Nebraska Game & Parks Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program and Federal Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program to establish wildlife areas within the NRD. NRCS has worked closely with other agencies and private wildlife organizations, such as Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited, to establish wildlife areas. The Wetland Reserve Program, as well as other federal and state cost share programs have been instrumental in improving wetlands within the NRD. These wetlands have been completed in cooperation with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.