Raise Your (Water) Glass to Sustainability!
John T. Heaston, Platte River Program Director for the Conservancy, has been appointed by the Governor to help lead a new effort.
July 30, 2013
Governor Dave Heineman announced the formation of the Water Funding Task Force in early July. The Conservancy's John T. Heaston, Platte River Program Director, was one of 11 appointees, and was selected to bring expertise on wildlife conservation to the effort. Roric Paulman of Sutherland, a Conservancy Trustee, was also appointed. Another sixteen members are from the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. Seven non-voting members include state lawmakers and the head of the Department of Natural Resources.
The goal of the Task Force is to make recommendations to the State Legislature, suggesting priorities for funding, examining uses for agriculture, recreation, wildlife, and municipal demands. "The legislation was introduced with the intent of determining better solutions to deal with some of our looming water issues," Heaston said. "The idea is we have to do things differently with our water to best use our resources."
Heaston comes to the effort with thirteen years of experience trying to finding balance among competing uses on the Platte River. He has collaborated with sand and gravel operators, farmers, energy suppliers, and a host of other stakeholders, working together to find common ground for conservation.
The final product of the Task Force will be a report to the legislature that identifies water resources programs, projects, and activities that most deserve funding. "Our long-term goals are water sustainability, efficiency, and productivity," said Heaston. "Those are things that every Nebraskan wants. We need water for our cities, our farms, and our streams. Everyone has different expertise and perspectives to bring to the Task Force and I'm eager to get to work."
Stay tuned for updates as the work gets underway.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org