Papio NRD Watch

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District is a property-taxing entity. Its original mission was to construct infrastructure that would stop or slow flooding and runoff in the Papio Basin that harms residential and other inhabited areas in the watershed. Instead of utilizing more economical low-impact projects like wetlands and dry dams, the NRD board has insisted on unnecessarily spending millions to construct a series of dams and lakes along the watershed. The board has raised property taxes and received legislative permission to float bond issues to pay for these dams and lakes. The NRD argument states that only such dam system can prevent huge periodic floods stemming from intensive rainstorms. Actually, such an enormous cataclysm could occur only once in many decades and probably would not cover the entire watershed, causing catastrophic flooding downstream. To entice support, the NRD added recreational facilities to its mission statement. However, the rules prohibit swimming, the fish are unhealthy, and boaters find layers of slime on bottoms of their boats. In April, 2014, the NE Dept. of Environmental Quality found all 5 lakes in the Papio system contaminated with chemical fertilizers, mercury, and other hazardous compounds. Several have fish advisories. Sediment increasingly makes the lakes shallow, requiring expensive dredging with restricted activities. Only bike riders, hikers, and picnickers benefit from this expensive option. Swimmer, fishermen, and boaters do not benefit. The largest beneficiaries are real estate developers who build expensive residential and commercial neighborhoods around these lakes. This project instructs our members how to lobby and monitor the NRD board members to stop utilizing high-impact options like dams and utilize cheaper alternatives that would offer adequate flood control and conservation along the watershed.

Introduce yourself and work with the NTF Papio NRD Project team leader.
Attend project committee meetings.
Refer to and familiarize yourself with introductory information in the NTF project packet.
Read and study NTF worksheets and issue papers for background information.
Attend board meetings to testify or monitor board member votes. Help track board member voting records.
   The full board meets on the 1st Thursday every month at 7 PM at NRD hq.
   The finance committee meets on the 1st Tuesday of every month at 6:30 PM at NRD hq.
Lobby your board member to cast votes in the interest of taxpayers.
     Thank board members for their conservative efforts and votes.
     Criticize board members for their liberal behaviors and votes.
Write guest editorials and call local radio talk shows on NRD topics.

Papiomrnrd.doc. 11-14.


NTF Issue Paper: legwatch146.doc. 4-17. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: STOP UNNECESSARY DAMS. BACKGROUND. Natural Resource Districts (NRDs) eager to build unneeded dams along NE waterways currently use a loophole to prevent adjacent government subdivisions from having financial influence on dam-building decisions. Many such dams benefit only private developers who reap millions from selling property near or on the lakeshores. Read more »


Awarded by NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM to the following Papio-Mo. River Natural Resources Board members who we believe voted to fund unneeded dams, raise our property taxes by 22% in 2015, fund unneeded bonds in their budget that have raised and will raise our property taxes, acquiesced in violation of the open meetings law, sold surplus property at below market value, and censured a fellow board member for exposing NRD creative accounting and Read more »


Do Natural Resource Districts Covet Your Land? Since when does government know how to run your business? This is a question I find myself asking in the wake of the state Natural Resource Districts’ most recent attempt to stick it to farmers and landowners by proposing a statutory change to a law that has served us well over the last 28 years. While you are obviously familiar by now with some of the more underhanded actions taken by the Papio-Missouri Read more »