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The Public is Invited to Speak Up for Nebraska's Environment

The Nebraska Environmental Trust is hosting roundtables on conservation priorities.

  • Katie Torpy
    Climate and Policy Lead
    The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska
    Email: katie.torpy@tnc.org

  • Dr. Mace Hack
    Nebraska State Director
    The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska
    Email: mhack@tnc.org

Every five years, the Nebraska Environmental Trust holds roundtables to solicit input from the public concerning the Trust’s funding priorities and performance. The Trust was established in 1992 to conserve, enhance and restore the natural environments of Nebraska. It was created on the conviction that a prosperous future is dependent on a sound natural environment, and that Nebraskans could collectively achieve real progress on real environmental issues if seed money were provided. As of 2018, over $299 million has been awarded to more than 2,100 projects all across Nebraska! The Trust’s five current funding priorities are: (1) Habitat, (2) Surface and Ground Water, (3) Waste Management, (4) Air Quality, and (5) Soil Management.

The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska uses Trust funding to unlock federal and state resources needed to restore and protect a diverse range of habitats for species including monarch butterflies, American Burying Beatles, whooping cranes, and many more. With support from the Trust, TNC also provides critical training and outreach: we conduct a Fire Training Exchange program to educate and train fire professionals from across the state, facilitate public-private partnerships with landowners through fire coordination in North Central Nebraska, and support farmers as they experiment with new soil health practices along the Central Platte. In short, much of what you think of when you think of The Nature Conservancy is made possible by the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

At this year’s roundtable The Nature Conservancy will be advocating for the following:

  • Prioritized funding for habitat*
  •  Prioritized funding for projects advancing climate mitigation and adaptation, and
  • That all conservation management tools remain available to project applicants.

We will also be advocating for the Trust to restore transparency to its grant allocation process, specifically regarding the role of expert technical review in its project ranking. Read our statement.

The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center will be facilitating the three roundtables, to be held on September 29, October 6, and October 14, 2020 via Zoom and in person (remote attendance is encouraged). Registration links will be forthcoming on the Trust’s website. We encourage interested parties to check the Trust website frequently  to access registration once it opens. Each roundtable will be limited to 150 participants and the Trust requests that individuals sign up for one roundtable only. 

The roundtables will consist of general information and instructions, followed by smaller work groups to discuss and provide feedback on the current funding priorities, then the small groups will report back to the full group.  Each roundtable will begin at 1:00pm and end approximately 4:00pm Central Time.  There will also be an opportunity for the public to submit written comments before, during, and the days immediately following the roundtables.  

* Between 2009 and 2019, Nebraska lost over 10 percent of its remaining intact grasslands. Source: World Wildlife Fund’s Plowprint

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.