Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

SPNRD, Pheasants Forever join forces on Oliver Reservoir project

At the November meeting the South Platte Natural Resources District, the board of directors approved the use of a half-acre plot at Oliver Reservoir Recreation Area for an outreach program to be undertaken by the Mile High Pheasants Forever chapter.

The program includes participation by Kimball elementary students, who will help plant pollinators while learning about their importance in nature.

Board members stated they are happy to provide the land for the Pheasants Forever pollinator project, sharing PF’s two main priorities that:

- Pollinating insects are an essential component in global food production. Approximately one-third of all food and beverages is delivered by pollinators and many species of native pollinators and domestic honey bees are in decline.

- Today’s youth spend a majority of their time fixated on electronic devices and less than half of the time outdoors that their parents did. One in four are obese. They will not develop a conservation ethic or attachment to the land without experiences that are fun and involve them personally.

The project will get underway next spring.

In anticipation of filling one board seat with an appointment soon, the board also approved amendments to the district’s operating policies relating to vacancies. The changes are mostly updates bringing local policy into line with state statute.

One of the key changes is that of the term to be served by an appointee. Because the vacancy in question is within the first two years of the four-year board term, the appointment will be for two years. That person will then need to file for re-election for the final two years of the term.

The vacancy was created by the retirement of Subdistrict 6 Director Tom Biggs, who represents northeastern Cheyenne County, including part of Sidney. No one filed for the elective office, resulting in the opening.

The City of Chappell was granted a variance to transfer 37.54 certified acres from land owned by Derry Farms, Inc. The transfer provides the ability for the city to offset any potential increase in their baseline water use due to the Chappell Waste Water Project. In other business, the board:

- Ratified the appointments of Dave Schnell and Wilson Bowling of Kimball to serve on the Oliver Reservoir Advisory Committee. The appointments were made to replace members who had stepped down.

- Approved staff to begin the bidding process for equipment needed to maintain Oliver Reservoir.