NORFOLK – The month of July marks another year for the state’s 23 Natural Resource Districts (NRDs) protecting lives, property and the future of natural resources.
According to a release from the LENRD, the districts have been doing this for 47 years and are unique because they are governed by locally elected boards and Nebraska is the only state to have this system.
Senator Maurice Kremer introduced and the Nebraska Legislature enacted Legislative Bill (LB) 1357 in 1969 to combine Nebraska’s 154 special purpose entities into 24 Natural Resource Districts by July 1972. The original 24 NRDs’ boundaries were organized based on Nebraska’s major river basins which allows for better management practices to be applied to similar topography. In 1989, the Middle Missouri NRD and the Papio NRD were merged into one, becoming the Papio-Missouri River NRD which resulted in the current 23-NRD system.
Nebraska’s NRDs are involved in a wide variety of projects and programs to conserve and protect the state’s natural resources.
The 12 areas of responsibility that NRDs are charged under state law with are of responsibility including flood control, soil erosion and groundwater management. While all NRDs share each of these main responsibilities, each district sets its own priorities and develops programs to best serve local needs and to protect Nebraska’s natural resources for future generations.