The Little Blue Natural Resources District will receive $208,865 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust to help integrate restored wetlands into irrigated agriculture operations. Wetlands can provide farm income through grazing and haying, while also providing wildlife habitat.
The “Puddles under the Pivots” grant will complement major funding provided by a Wetlands Reserve Easement Partnership grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Eligible landowners will enroll lands in a Wetlands Reserve Easement option under the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program. As part of this program, the landowner retains the right to pass a center pivot over the restored wetland. Fencing and livestock watering equipment, funded by the grant, will allow for grazing in the wetland.
Three of Nebraska’s largest pivot manufacturers – Lindsay Corporation, Reinke Manufacturing Corporation, and Valley Irrigation – are also participating in the project through cost-share assistance for center-pivot modifications and through their publicity.
This is the first year of a grant that has potential for second year funding of $208,865 and third-year funding of $208,870.
The Little Blue NRD is a core member of the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, a public-private partnership working to improve and protect wetlands in the Rainwater Basin and habitat in Nebraska’s mixed-grass prairies.
The Nebraska Environmental Trust, using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, has provided more than $250 million in grants to over 1,900 projects across the state since 1992, and has awarded $18,799,900 to 118 projects this year.