Pintails

Many varieties of waterfowl, such as these Northern Pintail ducks, use Nebraska wetlands as breeding grounds. The Nebraska Environmental Trust supports efforts by the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture partnership. Together they have restored and enhanced more than 20,000 acres of wetlands in the Rainwater Basin region in South Central Nebraska.

Nebraska Environmental Trust hosting public input meetings via Zoom

If you have ever wanted to see more funding go to a particular environmental issue, now is your chance to have an impact on the decision-making process.

Every five years, the Nebraska Environmental Trust conducts meeting to get feedback on funding, said Sheila Aikanathan-Johnson, spokeswoman for the trust. The process involves members of the Nebraska conservation community and public input.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, this year the meeting will be held on-line via Zoom. The public input meetings will be held from 1-4 p.m., (CDT) on the following dates: Tuesday, Sept. 29, Tuesday, Oct. 6, and Wednesday, Oct. 14. There is a limit of 150 participants for each session.

The five main funding categories include: habitat, surface and ground water, waste management and recycling, air quality, and soil management.

Example of projects done by Nebraska Environmental Trust include the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, which are public-private projects that integrate wetlands into working farm and ranch operations. Since 1992, the rainwater basin partnership has worked with more than 1,000 private landowners to restore and enhance more than 20,000 acres of wetlands in the rainwater basin region in south central Nebraska.

The trust also works with groups such as the Sandhills Task Force, Nebraska Grazing Land Coalition, burn associations, Nebraska Cattlemen, Pheasants Forever and local Natural Resource Districts to help fund across all 93 counties of the state, Aikanathan-Johnson said.

The trust uses revenue from the Nebraska Lottery. It has provided more than $328 million in grants to more than 2,300 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 environmental trust works to preserve, protect and restore natural resources for future generations.

If you would like to provide your input on what funding categories should be funded, register for one of the Zoom meetings. The registration link for the category roundtable meetings is: https://go.unl.edu/net2020meetings.

Written comments will be taken by submitting them to: Nebraska Environmental Trust, 700 S. 16th St., Lincoln, NE 68508, until Oct. 23.

For more information, visit: https://environmentaltrust.nebraska.gov/index.html.

Jon Burleson can be reached at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.  

Jon Burleson is the Midwest Messenger reporter, based out of eastern Nebraska. Reach him at jon.burleson@lee.net.