Senator Maurice Kremer introduced and the Nebraska Legislature enacted Legislative Bill (LB) 1357 in 1969 to combine Nebraska's 154 special purpose entities into 24 Natural Resources Districts by July, 1972.
The original 24 NRDs' boundaries are organized based on Nebraska's major river basins which allows for better management practices to be applied to similar topography. In 1989, the Middle Missouri NRD and the Papio NRD were merged into one, becoming the Papio- Missouri NRD which resulted in the current 23-NRD system.
NRDs are local government entities with broad responsibilities to protect our natural resources. Major Nebraska river basins form the boundaries, enabling districts to respond best to local needs. Elected boards of directors govern districts. Much of the funding comes from local property taxes. In many cases, your local natural resources district typically uses 1 to 2 percent of all property taxes collected in the county.
Under the provisions of the NRD law, each NRD has the capability to develop and carry out plans and programs relating to:
- Erosion Prevention and Control,
- Prevention of Damages from Floodwater and Sediment,
- Flood Prevention and Control,
- Soil Conservation,
- Water Supply for any Beneficial Use,
- Development, Management, Utilization & Conservation of Ground & Surface Water,
- Pollution Control,
- Solid Waste Management,
- Drainage Improvement and Channel Rectification,
- Development and Management of Recreational and Park Facilities,
- Forestry and Range Management,
- Development and Management of Fish and Wildlife Habitat.
The Lewis and Clark Natural Resources District includes the eastern half of Knox County and the northern three-fourths of Cedar and Dixon Counties. Each of these counties Soil and Water Conservation Districts, along with the Antelope\Beaver Creek Watershed Districts and the Aowa Creek Watershed Project were combined into it. Representatives from each area of the district are elected to serve four-year terms on the Board of Directors.