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Nebraska NRD Board: Lower Platte South, Dist 3

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    Mike DeKalb

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    Kenneth Vogel

Biographical Information

What steps will you take to prepare for changes in climate trends that affect Natural Resource District management?

What educational actions will you advocate for your district's students and adults regarding the changing climate?

How do you address the concerns of citizens and developers who want access to NRD projects?

Has your district tested its water for nitrate levels? If its concentration is found higher than the federal limit of 10 ppm, how would you recommended remedying the situation?

If elected, what would be your first year priorities? Please detail.

Occupation I retired from the Lincoln Lancaster Planning Department in 2011 after 36 years
Education Bachelor of Architecture, 1970, UNL
Current Public Office, dates held Director, Lower Platte South NRD, District 3 . 2012 to present
Past Public Office, dates held UPCO President 2015-2017
Military experience Army, Military Police, 1970-1972
Volunteer experience UPCO Neighborhood board, Center for People in Need, Camp Creek Thresher, ACT Co-Chair, StarTrain Chair, 33rd and Cornhusker Project, Lincoln Water Master Plan member, Lincoln Transportation Plan member, Mayors Round table.,
Address 6015 Huntington Ave, Lincoln NE
Marital Status Married to Donna DeKalb
Age 74
The Lower Platte South NRD currently incorporates plans for climate change, including more frequent and sever storms, drought and flooding. Crops/cropping will likely change. Ground water may well be stressed and must be protected. We help communities plan for storms and water quality. I fully support efforts to understand and prepare for a changing climate and a resilience to those changes.
We sponsor educational units, tours, and programs for all the schools in the district. Our staff also assist the public in environmental education. I fully support funding and continuing efforts to understand and propare for a changing climate. Including farming practice, irrigation, public education and community preparedness.
Most of our projects are for the public and open to the public, We have lakes, grassland, trails and habitat. areas open to the public that do not require fees. Many other projects are done to assist private property owners and HOMAs and my not have public access but serve the public good.
We test for nitrate levels through out the District and sponsor home well water tests. If needed we can limit the amount of nitrate fertilizer applied in farmed areas. Other agencies control levels in public water supply.
My priority for District 3 is to complete the Deadmans Run Project in the East Campus - UPCO area. This is fully funded and will remove the existing floodplain from impacting about 500 homes and businesses. This will save lives and property and aid in the redevelopment and enhancement of this area of Northeast Lincoln. Continued Levee and dam maintenance is a high priority. Ground water protection is a must.
Occupation Retired U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Research Scientist and Research Leader
Education B.S., M.S. Agronomy, Colo. State University; Ph.D. Univ. of Nebraska, Plant Breeding & Genetics.
Current Public Office, dates held None
Past Public Office, dates held Research Scientist and Research Leader, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1974 – 2013.
Military experience Officer Candidate, U.S. Navy. Sept 1967- Jan. 1968. Officer, U.S. Navy with ranks of Ensign to Lt., 1968 through 1970. Served on USS Princeton 1968-1969; U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam, 1970.
Volunteer experience Regents Heights Homeowners Association Board Member and several officer positions including president over the last 28 years. Church and YMCA activities over the years.
Address 7744 Erin Court Lincoln, NE 68507
Marital Status Married
Age 77
Natural Resource Districts manage numerous flood control dams, miles of levees and streams and monitor and manage both surface and ground water for safe and sustainable use. The size of the dams and levees and other management structures are based on past weather records. Climate change is predicted to lead to more erratic and intense weather events. The 2019 floods in Nebraska are an example of the potential problems that could occur. I will be supportive of any measures necessary to re-evaluate all water control management practices and plan and build for potential future high-risk events due to climate change.
As a former public employee, I am fully committed to making as much information as feasible available to the public including both students and adults in an array of formats. All programs including those dealing with climate change must provide information on why they are being conducted, their status, their benefits, and their costs. Much of this can be done via the Internet.
The Natural Resource Districts exist to provide flood control and water safety and quality to all citizens and they are funded by public funds. Access should be open to all except where restricted access is needed for safety or management purposes or because of specific agreements with cities or other government agencies.
At the present time, I am not aware of a ground water nitrate level problem in the Lower Platte South NRD. High nitrate levels in the ground water are typically due to over nitrogen fertilization of cropland. This has been successfully addressed in other Nebraska NRD’s by restriction of nitrogen fertilization rates along with improved irrigation management practices. Agricultural Research Service USDA scientists stationed at the University of Nebraska and University of Nebraska scientists have developed an array of management practices that can be implemented.
The staffs of the Natural Resource Districts are the people who do the work. Board Directors serve as a management review and major decision board. My first main priority will be to develop a good working relationship with the staff. I would review the status of the 2019 flood remediation problems and work with the NRD management and staff to address the remaining work.