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

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 one position open; full time, Conservation Programs Assistant 

(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.