Lincoln, NE – April 5, 2014 – Sandhills Resource Conservation and Development announced today that it will receive $84,967.00 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for “Cedar Control in the Sandhills Region”. The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its meeting on April 3, 2014 in Lincoln. This is the first year of award with a potential for 2nd and 3rd year funding totaling $33,967.00 and $16,966.00 respectively. The project is one of the 132 projects receiving $21,750,000 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 56 were new applications and 76 are carry-over projects.
The Sandhills Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) is planning to work cooperatively with the Upper Loup Natural Resource District (Upper Loup NRD) on the three year project to provide landowners in the central Sandhills region with tools needed to control Eastern Red Cedar encroachment and restore the rangeland to productive grazing land acres. First year grant funds will be used to purchase a tree shear mounted on a skid loader capable of mechanical removal of trees up to 20” in diameter as well as a small wheeled trailer to move the equipment from place to place. In addition to the purchase of this equipment, funds in all years will be used to host at least eight public meetings to provide landowners with information on options available to assist in cedar tree control. Second year funds will be used to purchase a tow behind chipper/shredder. This equipment will be available for rent to area landowners wishing to address the issue of cedar tree encroachment and loss of productive grazing lands.
The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $213 million in grants to over 1,600 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 Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.