More than 56,000 citizens rely on the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District (NRD) to provide direction and assistance in the wise use, conservation and development of our soil, water and related natural resources. The NRD is dedicated to the conservation and careful development of natural resources to serve everyone’s needs.
The NRD system was created in 1972, following Nebraska legislation which consolidated more than 150 statewide special-purpose districts into 23 NRDs. The NRDs correspond to major river basins in Nebraska. Therefore, NRDs carry the names of these rivers, hence the Upper Big Blue NRD is named after the uppermost portion of the Big Blue River.
NRDs are organized as governmental subdivisions of the state. Local control is provided by a board of directors. At the Upper Big Blue NRD, a 17-member board establishes policy. These directors are placed in office through the general election process and represent the community’s interests in conservation. Across the state, NRDs offer a major source of assistance to landowners in conservation and natural resources management. Not only do the board members make decisions about conservation programs at the District level,
they also bring a wealth of local judgment and experience when adapting state and national programs to local situations. The NRD staff is responsible for the day-to-day operations. The Board sets policy only. The NRD staff at York and the field clerks at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices in each county are responsible for implementing NRD policy and regulations.
A major source of funding for projects, programs and administration comes from a levy on all taxable property within the District. Other sources include federal and state funding, as well as program fees.
Certain projects may also be funded with a portion of other local, state, private and/or federal revenues. The NRD is empowered to coordinate land and water management programs with local, state and federal conservation organizations and other governmental units.