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NRD accepts $1 million for "dry year" leases

Thursday, October 11, 2012

CURTIS, Nebraska -- The Middle Republican Natural Resources District (MRNRD) board of directors Tuesday evening officially accepted $1 million from the state to help fund its new "dry year lease program."

Meeting in Curtis for its monthly meeting, the board approved a "memorandum of understanding" with the State of Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, which will reimburse each of the three Republican River Basin NRD's up to $1 million for payments made toward any new or expansion of any existing project or program designed to help the state meet compliance standards of the Republican River Compact in 2013 and beyond.

After accepting the state funding, the MRNRD board agreed unanimously to add it to about $600,000 in local occupation tax dollars and implement its dry year lease program.

In a dry year lease program agreement with the MRNRD, the recorded owner of a property offers, by bid, to surrender ground water irrigation rights for the 2013 irrigation year. The owner must provide a history of use of two out of the last three years, and proof of irrigated acres for the past three years. Inches per acre applied in previous years will be used in ranking/acceptance.

Priority will be given to acres within the Republican's rapid response area and to whole fields. Acres not within the rapid response area will be prioritized using a stream depletion factor (SDF).

Landowners must obtain approval of tenants; lienholders will be notified.

Acres already enrolled in a temporary retirement program and acres receiving prevented planting program payments are not eligible to participate in the dry year lease program.

Landowners' bids (per irrigated acre) must be submitted to the MRNRD by Saturday, Nov. 10. Board members will review and prioritize the bids at their November meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 13.

The MRNRD reserves the right to reject any or all bids.

More information and bid forms are available at the MRNRD office at 220 Center Avenue in Curtis or on the website at www.mrnrd.org

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The State of Nebraska signed the compact not the Republican River basin. The State should be responsible for any Kansas payment. The Upper NRD allowed more drilling back in the late 1990's and early 2000's even knowing there would be a stop drilling order on the way which put the middle NRD and especially Red Willow in a big bind.

-- Posted by dennis on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 2:28 PM

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