North Platte Natural Resources District

Nebraska is divided into 23 natural resources districts (NRDs), multi-purpose, local units of government established to conserve, protect, develop and manage natural resources. The North Platte NRD comprises Banner, Garden, Morrill, Scotts Bluff and southern Sioux counties in the North Platte Valley in the Nebraska Panhandle. This is a land area of more than 3 million acres with a population of more than 45,000 people and 18 communities (14 incorporated and four unincorporated). Land use consists of range (63 percent), crop and pasture (33 percent), and lakes and wetlands, forest and other uses (4 percent).

Major agricultural products are cattle, corn, sugar beets, dry edible beans, alfalfa and wheat. Most crops require irrigation because annual average precipitation is 14 to 17 inches. The largest source of irrigation water is the North Platte River. A system of dams and canals in the river valley, operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation since the early 1900s, diverts water from the river and stores it to irrigate about 300,000 acres. Some groundwater also is used to irrigate. The North Platte Valley also is noted for its historical role in the westward expansion of the United States. In the 1800s several major overland emigrant trails, including the Oregon and Mormon Trails, followed the North Platte River. Noted landmarks such as Chimney Rock, Courthouse and Jail Rocks and Scotts Bluff National Monument trace their fame to this era.

Nebraska's NRDs: Unique, flexible, local

Natural resources districts are unique to Nebraska. Established in 1972, they take their boundaries from major river basins. They are governed by locally elected boards of directors, enabling them to respond to local needs. The North Platte NRD is governed by a nine-member board of directors elected on a non-partisan ballot. NRDs get much of their operating funds from local property taxes. However, NRDs use only a small slice of the property tax pie -- typically 1 percent to 2 percent of all property taxes collected in a county.

NRDs have 12 statutory purposes for existence:

•Erosion prevention and control
•Prevention of damages from flood water and sediment
•Flood prevention and control
•Soil conservation
•Water supply for any beneficial uses
•Development, management, utilization and conservation of groundwater and surface water
•Pollution control
•Solid waste disposal and sanitary drainage
•Drainage improvement and channel rectification
•Development and management of fish and wildlife habitat
•Development and management of recreational and park facilities
•Forestry and range management

NRDs often build partnerships with other agencies and organizations, including the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission, other state and federal agencies, municipalities, counties and private organizations. The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts provides administrative services, legislative representation, statewide communication and coordination for the 23 independent districts.


Contact North Platte Natural Resources District

Ron Cacek
General Manager
100547 Airport Road
P O Box 280
Scottsbluff, Nebraska  69363-0280
Phone: 308-632-2749
Fax: 308-632-4346


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska

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