About Us

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 currently employs ten staff members. Seven 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

Kylen Armstrong, Conservation Programs Coordinator

Accounting, Payroll, Billing, Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Program (NSWCP) processing, Budget Assistance, Public Relations/Communications

Maria Baglieri, Natural Resource Coordinator

Tree Orders, windbreak planning, wildlife habitat planning, cost-share programs, WILD Nebraska, Corners for Wildlife, Irrigation Flow Meter reading, , Chemigation Inspections, NeRAIN, Crop Water Use Report

Haley Anders, Water Programs Manager

Groundwater Quality, Chemigation Program, Groundwater Sampling, Domestic Well Sampling, Wellhead Protection Community Assistance

Tricia Goes, Conservation Programs Assistant

Chemigation Permits and Inspections, Conservation Festival, Envirothon, Land Judging, Range Judging, Board Secretary, Customer Orders, District Wellness Coordinator, Website Maintenance, Social Media Pages, PRIDE Liaison, Irrigation Flow Meter reading, 

Vacant, Natural Resources Technician

Water Programs support, Irrigation Flow meter reading, Water Sample collection, Chemigation Inspections, Tree Program support, NeRAIN

Brenda Schnell, Alliance NRCS Field Office Secretary

NRCS/UNWNRD liaison, NRCS Secretary

Vacant, Chadron NRCS Field Office Secretary

NRCS/UNWNRD liaison, NRCS Secretary

Vacant, Rushville NRCS Field Office Secretary

NRCS/UNWNRD liaison, NRCS Secretary

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.

Subdistrict 1

Richard Zochol
1573 CR 54
Alliance, NE 69301
(308) 762-3803

Kevin Oligmueller
1019 Duncan Ave
Alliance, NE 69301
(308) 760-8992

Subdistrict 2

Mike Strasburger
1690 330th TRL
Ellsworth, NE 69340
(308) 282-2753

Scott Berndt
3418 254th Lane
Lakeside, NE 69351
(308) 327-2848

Subdistrict 3

David Kadlecek
P.O. Box 250
Hay Springs, NE 69347
(308) 638-7426

Steve Sandberg
4457 470th Lane
Hay Springs, NE 69347
(308) 232-4421

Subdistrict 4

Tod Dorshorst
4745 410th Ln
Hay Springs, NE 69347
(308) 232-4436

John Burke
7308 Thomas Rd.
Alliance, NE 69301
(308) 762-5151

Subdistrict 5

Nancy Fisher
617 W Ash Creek Rd
Crawford, NE 69339
(308) 665-1580

Allen Rasmussen
17219 Hwy 385
Chadron, NE 69337
(308) 432-5112

At Large

David Carlson
101 Carlson Rd
Hay Springs, NE 69347
(308) 638-7402


Each Director serves on one or more Committees within the UNWNRD. The current Committees are:


Rich Zochol, Chairman
David Carlson
Steve Sandberg
John Burke
Tod Dorshorst



Dave Kadlecek, Chairman
Kevin Oligmueller
Rich Zochol
Scott Berndt
Al Rasmussen

Information & Education/Land & Weed

Al Rasmussen, Chairman
Dave Kadlecek
Mike Strasburger
Nancy Fisher

2020 Executive Committee

Dave Carlson, Chair
Dave Kadlecek, Vice Chair
Nancy Fisher, Secretary/Treasurer
Steve Sandberg, Past Chair

2020 Representatives

Scott Berndt, NARD Rep
Tod Dorshorst, NARD Alt
David Carlson, NRBA Rep
Kevin Oligmueller, NRBA Alt


Nancy Fisher, Chairperson
Dave Kadlecek
Rich Zochol
Al Rasmussen

Board of Directors Documents

2019-2020 Fiscal Year


June 2020 Agenda


April 2020 Agenda


February 2020 Agenda


June Meeting Minutes


April Meeting Minutes


February Meeting Mins.


December Meeting Mins.


May 2020 Agenda


March 2020 Agenda


January 2020 Agenda


May Meeting Minutes


March Meeting Minutes


January Meeting Minutes


November Meeting Mins.


September Meeting Mins.

Make a Positive Impact on your Environment & Community

Our organization is built of enthusiastic and passionate employees focused on creating a healthy, thriving natural environment. Interested in leaning more? Contact us today.

Currently only one position open; Resources Technician. 

(308) 432-6190

(308) 432-6187

Mailing Address:
430 East Second Street
Chadron, Nebraska 69337

For specific contact information related to UNWNRD Board and Staff, please see the 'About Us' page.

To learn more about Nebraska's NRDs, please see the 'Links' page.