The Upper Niobrara White NRD serves the citizens of Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan and most of Sioux Counties. We are dedicated to the conservation of natural resources of Northwest Nebraska.


The Natural Resources District system is unique to the State of Nebraska. This system was created by LB 1357 in the 1969 Unicameral session. The Upper Niobrara White NRD and 23 other Districts were then officially formed on July 1,1972 when the State Legislature enacted laws to combine 154 special-purpose entities. Districts were developed according to watershed basins, instead of by political boundaries. This system provided a more efficient management strategy because it solved the issues of overlapping authorities and lack of funds. Presently twenty-three districts exist, due to the combination of two Eastern NRDs.


NRDs have been given broad responsibilities to deal with a variety of natural resources issues including erosion, flood prevention, soil conservation, ground and surface water, pollution control, wildlife habitat, recreational facilities, forestry and range management. To perform these duties, NRDs use a combination of grant funds, revenues generated through programs, State dollars, and property taxes. Each District is governed by a locally elected Board of Directors, which ensures that local issues and concerns are addressed.


Nebraska’s natural resources vary greatly across the state. The Upper Niobrara White NRD contains Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan and the upper 80% of Sioux Counties. This Northwest Nebraskan District is approximately 4.5 million acres comprised of the Pine Ridge forest, Sandhills, rangelands and crop ground. Fortunately, the local control granted to NRDs through elected Boards allows each District to address their particular issues with local solutions and relevant projects and programs.


Today, Nebraska's unique system of locally-controlled, tax-funded, watershed-based conservation is widely admired throughout the nation.



Under Nebraska state law, NRDs are charged with:

  • Erosion prevention and control
  • Prevention of damages from flood water and sediment
  • Flood prevention and control
  • Soil conservation
  • Water supply for any beneficial uses
  • Development, management, utilization, and conservation of groundwater and surface water
  • Pollution control
  • Solid waste disposal and drainage
  • Drainage improvement and channel rectification
  • Development and management of fish and wildlife habitat
  • Development and management of recreational and park facilities
  • Forestry and range management



The Upper Niobrara White NRD often works with other agencies and organizations to implement projects and programs, including:

Additional partners include cities, counties, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension offices, Nebraska Forest Service, USDA Nebraska National Forest Service, other NRDs, and many local organizations.


Board of Directors

The Upper Niobrara White NRD's Board of Directors has eleven members, each of whom is elected by the public during the general election to serve a four-year term. Two members are elected from each of the five sub-districts and one is elected at-large. The Board meets once a month to review operations and vote on policies. The meetings are usually held at the UNWNRD office on the second Thursday of each month. However, a few meetings each year may be held in varying locations throughout the District on different dates. Please call the UNWNRD office for information on an upcoming meeting.


The Board of Directors are as follows:

Subdistrict 1
Richard Zochol
1573 CR 54
Alliance, NE 69301

Kevin Oligmueller

1019 Duncan

Alliance, NE 69301


Subdistrict 2
Mike Strasburger

1690 330th Trail

Gordon, NE 69343

Scott Berndt
3130 State Hwy 250
Lakeside, NE 69351
Subdistrict 3
David Kadlecek
P.O. Box 250
Hay Springs, NE 69347
Dave Carlson
101 Carlson Road
Hay Springs , NE 69347
Subdistrict 4
John Burke
7308 Thomas Rd.
Alliance, NE 69301
Tod Dorshorst
4745 410th Ln
Hay Springs, NE 69347
Subdistrict 5

Allen Rasmussen

17219 Highway 385

Chadron, NE 69337


Nancy Fisher
617 W. Ash Creek Road.
Whitney, NE 69367
Steve Sandberg
4473 470th Ln
Hay Springs, NE 69347
Each Director serves on one or more Committees within the UNWNRD. The current Committees are:

John Burke , Chair
Steve Sandberg, Vice-Chair

Dave Carlson Sec.-Treas.

Rich Zochol, Past Chairman

Rich Zochol , Chair
Steve Sandberg
John Burke

Tod Dorshorst

Dave Carlson

Dave Carlson, Chair
Dave Kadlecek

Nancy Fisher

Rich Zochol

Dave Kadlecek, Chair
Scott Berndt

Richard Zochol

Kevin Oligmueller

Nancy Fisher, Chair

Dave Kadlecek

Mike Strasburger

Allen Rasmussen

Tod Dorshorst NARD* Rep.
Scott Berndt NARD Alternate
Dave Kadlecek DNR** Rep.

Dave Carlson NRBA*** Rep.

Kevin Oligmueller NRBA Alternate



*NE Association of Resources Districts

** Department of Natural Resources

***Niobrara River Basin Alliance



The Upper Niobrara White NRD currently employs eleven staff members. Nine employees work at the UNWNRD office in Chadron and three work as NRCS Secretaries in the Alliance, Chadron and Rushville field offices.

Patrick O'Brien, General Manager
Manages all District operations and policies, Budget development
Lynn Webster, Assistant Manager

Ground Water Quantity, Well Permits, GIS, Cost-share Programs: Flow meters, Pivot conversions, Home water treatment systems, Well Decommissioning


Craig Eddie, Natural Resources Coordinator

eddie at

Tree orders, windbreak planning, wildlife habitat planning, cost-share programs: WILD Nebraska, Corners for Wildlife. Assists with irrigation flow meter reading and chemigation inspections


Kylen Armstrong, Office Manager
Accounting, Payroll, Billing, Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Program (NSWCP) processing, chemigation assistance, Budget Assistance, Wellness Coordinator
Haley Anders, Water Resources Manager
Chemigation & Water Programs, Irrigation Flow meter reading, Water sample collection, Chemigation inspections, Tree Program support

Nevin Price, Resources Technician

price at
Water programs support, irrigation flow meter reading, water sample collection, chemigation inspections, tree program support


Brenda Schnell, Alliance NRCS Field Office Secretary
NRCS/UNWNRD liaison, NRCS Secretary
Tricia Goes , Chadron NRCS Field Office Secretary
NRCS/UNWNRD liaison, NRCS Secretary
Glenda Cushing, Rushville NRCS Field Office Secretary
NRCS/UNWNRD liaison, NRCS Secretary