Gov. Heineman Appoints 11 Individuals to Serve on the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today announced 11 new members of the Natural Resources Commission expanding the commission from 16 to 27 members. This expansion was created with the passage of Legislative Bill 1098e. The appointees must have staggered terms of service.
The following new members will initially serve two-year terms beginning June 1: Brian Barels of Columbus, Water Resources Manager at Nebraska Public Power District; Joel Christensen of Omaha, Civil Engineer and Vice President of Water Operations at Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD); Steven Huggenberger of Lincoln, Assistant City Attorney specializing in water law; Tom Palmertree of Hebron, Director of Marketing at Reinke Manufacturing; and Scott Smathers of Lincoln, Executive Director at Backcountry Consulting.
The additional new members will serve four-year terms beginning June 1: Don Kraus of Holdrege, General Manager at Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District; Walter Dennis Strauch of Mitchell, General Manager at Pathfinder Irrigation District; Donald Batie of Lexington, Farmer and Cattleman; Henry (Hod) Kosman of Scottsbluff, President, CEO and Chairman at Platte Valley Companies; Lindsey Smith of Broken Bow, Assistant Manager for Gracie Creek Ranch; and Owen Palm of Gering, CEO at 21st Century Equipment.
The individuals who were appointed previously by Gov. Heineman will have a new term to comply with the law. Thomas Knutson of St. Paul, retired Twin Loups Reclamation District, and Mayor Stanley Clouse of Kearney will serve until May 31, 2016. Kearney farmer, Richard Mercer will serve until May 31, 2018.
The new Commission includes a diversity of water users in Nebraska, representing the following categories: Agriculture, Agribusiness, Irrigation District, Manufacturing Interests, Outdoor Recreation User, Public Power District, Public Power & Irrigation District, Range Livestock Owner, Wildlife Conservation Interests, metropolitan utilities district and a Lincoln representative who is interested in water issues.