NRD Basin Tour

 NRD Basin Tour Explores Nebraska’s Panhandle


NRD directors and staff from across the state learn about western Nebraska watersheds

Approximately 50 directors and staff from Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) convened in Scottsbluff for the annual NRD Basin Tour hosted by the South Platte, North Platte, and Upper Niobrara White NRDs on June 6-7, 2022.

“We get far less rain than the rest of the state, which makes for unique challenges in natural resources management,” said Scott Schaneman, North Platte NRD general manager. “The Panhandle NRDs have diverse responsibilities and programs that include water conservation, forestry, range management, and even flood control. The annual basin tour is a great opportunity to highlight our efforts and showcase western Nebraska.”

Schaneman, along with South Platte NRD General Manager Galen Wittrock and Upper Niobrara White NRD General Manager Pat O’Brien, led the two-day tour showcasing several projects that protect lives, property, and the future in western Nebraska including water recharge, habitat restoration, and forestry in the Pine Ridge. Traditionally, the educational tour includes NRD directors and staff, and conservation partners.

“Basin tours give NRD directors a unique look at the conservation challenges that are being faced around the state,” said Jim Eschliman, Nebraska Association of Resources Districts past president and Lower Loup NRD director. “It is interesting to see the diversity of the NRDs and how local boards meet the challenges to benefit their communities and the state.”

The tour included several stops and tours of conservation projects that protect both urban and rural natural resources. Some of the 2022 tour highlights included:

  • Enterprise Canal Diversion Project (Mitchell)
  • Tri-State Surface Water Diversion at the North Platte River (Henry)
  • Sidney Bioretention Project (Sidney)
  • South Platte River Compact and Canal Project Overview
  • Chimney Rock (Bayard)
  • North Platte NRD Greenhouse (Scottsbluff)
  • Minatare Diversion Project (Minatare)
  • Lake Minatare Lighthouse (Minatare)
  • Nine Mile Creek Rehab and Hatchery (Minatare)
  • Pine Forest Restoration and Thinning in Chadron State Park (Chadron)

The NRD Basin Tour explores a different water basin each year. The hosting NRDs showcase conservation projects, partnerships, and the local communities in which they live and work. For more information on NRD events and activities, visit

 Throughout 2022, the NRDs will commemorate breakthroughs and achievements in conservation these past 50 years. To join in the anniversary celebration and follow the Natural Resources Districts’ special activities throughout 2022, visit and follow #Since1972 on social media.

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD), the trade association for Nebraska's 23 Natural Resources Districts (NRD), works with individual districts to protect lives, property and the future of Nebraska’s natural resources. NRDs are unique to Nebraska and act as local government entities with broad responsibilities to protect Nebraska’s natural resources. Major Nebraska river basins form the boundaries of the 23 NRDs, enabling districts to respond to local conservation and resource management needs. Learn more about Nebraska’s NRDs at



Chimney Rock: NRD Basin Tour attendees stop for a photo opportunity at Chimney Rock near Bayard, Nebraska.

For an in-depth look into the tour, click here for the Pdf. of the information given on the tour.