The KDWPT in August encouraged Kansans to express their concerns about the project to the Nebraska DNR.
Former Gov. Jeff Colyer also sent a letter to Nebraksa DNR director Jeff Fassett, dated Aug. 8, 2018, expressing his objection to the plan, saying “an overwintering population of both silver and bighead (carp) were documented in Turkey Creek” among other sightings in the area, citing 2017 samplings by the Nebraska Department of Game and Parks.
John Thorburn, manager of the Tri-Basin Natural Resources District in Holdrege, Neb., previously stated in an interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal that the perceived threat from invasive species may be overexaggerated, however.
“To our knowledge, the Asian carp have not been detected in the portion of the Platte that we would be diverting water from,” Thorburn said in the August 2018 article. “There’s a diversion dam at North Platte, Neb., that takes water into Central Nebraska Public Power’s canal system, and there have not been any detections of Asian carp or the zebra aquatic mussels (another invasive species) at that point in the river or upstream in the river.”
Thorburn this week said the DNR is measuring its legal options moving forward.
“Nebraska DNR is considering whether to hold a hearing to consider objections to our water right application,” Thorburn said. “We will submit a brief to DNR director Jeff Fassett by January 31. Since we’re involved in a legal process, I can’t comment much more.”
Thorburn deferred to attorney David Bargen, for comment.
“In response to objections that were filed by various parties opposing my clients’ application to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) for an appropriation to divert unappropriated flows from the Platte River to the Republican River during times of excess flows, we have filed with DNR a motion to dismiss those objections for lack of standing,” said Bargen, who represents both the project and the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District in the matter. “Briefing on the standing issue is scheduled to be complete by Jan. 31, after which time DNR will determine how the process proceeds.
“I am unable to comment beyond the procedural status of the application at this time. My clients will further respond in filings to DNR regarding the substance of the matter as appropriate.”
Topeka Boat and Outdoor Show dates moved
The Topeka Boat and Outdoor Show has been rescheduled to run from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2018.
The show will take place in Landon Arena at the Kansas Expocentre and will feature Robert Sidler, of Shed Dogs, who will talk about shed hunting with dogs. Other seminar presenters will be announced at a later date.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Mobile Aquarium also will be at the show again this year.
Landowner workshop on tap
The Delaware River and Tuttle Creek Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy programs will host a one-day, free workshop from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 15, 2019, to discuss land and stream health.
The meeting, aimed at producers, will take place at the Nemaha County Community Building, 1500 Community Drive in Seneca. Advanced registration is required to attend, and lunch will be provided to those who register by Jan. 10. Register at http://wraps.eventbrite.com.
The workshop will feature nationally recognized soil health advocate Gail Fuller and stream specialist Phil Balch, of Wildhorse Riverworks, Inc.
Fuller has been using regenerative soil health practices on his family farm near Emporia since the mid-1980s and Balch has more than 30 years of experience helping landowners design and implement streambank stabilization and rehabilitation projects, according to a news release from the KDWPT.
Other resource specialists will address related conservation topics during the workshop, including forestry, wildlife habitat and livestock management.
For more information, contact Kerry Wedel of Delaware River WRAPS at (785) 284-3422 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.