Kevin W. Hood
Upper Loup NRD
1977 -- Graduated from Butte Public High School, Butte, Nebraska.
1979 -- Graduated from University of Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture with Associate Degree in Ag Land and Water, Curtis, Nebraska.Started with the Soil Conservation Service as a Soil Conservation Technician in the Area Office in Lincoln in December, 1980. Transferred to the Wilber Field Office in June of 1981. Worked as a Soil Conservation Technician in the field office until October, 1989. October, 1989, transferred to the Midwest National Technical Center as a Hydrologic Technician on the National Range Study Team. In November, 1994, changed series from Hydrologic Technician to Soil Conservationist and worked in the Midwest National Technical Center until January, 1996. In January, 1996, became District Conservationist at the Mullen Field Office.
The Upper Loup Natural Resources District encompasses 6690 square miles of the Sandhills of Nebraska. The District includes all of Blaine, Grant, Hooker, Logan, and Thomas counties, and parts of Brown, Cherry, and McPherson counties. Villages within the district are Ashby, Brewster, Brownlee, Dunning, Elsmere, Gandy, Halsey, Hyannis, Mullen, Purdum, Seneca, Stapleton, Thedford, and Whitman. According to the 1990 Census, the population is approximately 5220 of which 66% is rural and 34% is urban. Cattle outnumber people in the District at nearly a 50:1 ratio. The headwaters of the North Loup, Middle Loup, South Loup, Calumus, and Dismal Rivers all are within the boundary of the District. The District is 96% rangeland. Range management is the Primary Resource Concern. The Bessey Division of the Nebraska National Forest covers approximately 90,000 acres in Thomas County and 22,000 acres in Blaine County.
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NRCS is the primary source for technical expertise and assistance to address the priorities identified by the NRD in their Master Plan and by the Local Work Group. NRCS is actively involved in providing technical assistance related to planned grazing systems and proper grazing use, to address resource concerns related to rangeland and pastureland. This technical assistance consists of ranch maps, range condition mapping, computation of pasture acres, rangeland monitoring, and calculating recommended stocking rates. Water development, which includes pipeline surveys and designs, is an increasing part of the technical assistance.
The NRD has a technician who has primary responsibility for tree planting program, chemigation inspection and permits, andn well monitoring program within the District.
NRCS utilizes the following programs on a routine basis to address the resource concerns and needs identified by the Upper Loup NRD and the Local Work Group:
In fiscal year 1998, the Upper Loup River Basin Geographic Priority Area was approved for funding by EQIP. The priority area covers 1.84 million acres in Blaine, Brown, Cherry, and Thomas counties. The priority area covers the North Loup and Calumus River drainage within the boundaries of the district. The primary resource concern for the priority area is the protection and enhancement of the grazing lands. Wildlife habitat and wetlands are the secondary resource concerns. In fiscal year 1998, 25 applications requesting 1,066,649 were received. 15 of these applications were approved for contract development for a total of $394,631.