Georgia Kahl Leadership Chadron Member
In March, the Leadership Chadron group met to explore the natural resources and tourism of our area.
The morning began by meeting at the Upper Niobrara White Natural Resource District (NRD) to discuss area water management. NRD General Manager Pat O’Brien presented water management concerns and concepts. The challenges the NRD faces to water management in the area are unique; parts of the district have abundance of ground / surface water available while other parts struggle to find enough water to establish wells. Mr. O’Brien also illustrated how important proper water management is to protect the water levels we enjoy today.
The group then traveled to the Chadron Chamber of Commerce where Executive Director, Gabby Michna, discussed tourism of Chadron. Travel magazines, trail maps, and a variety of other items were handed out. The Chadron Chamber is a great resource for people who are looking for outdoor summer activities.
Next, local area rancher and business owner Boone Huffman discussed how his ranching and outfitting operation cares for the resources the operations utilize. Huffman believes the greatest resource our area has is not only the unique landscape, but the people of our area. Huffman is also largely involved with the Chadron area youth, serving on the school board and coaching youth football. He believes that investing in our youth area will strengthen and improve our community. He closed his presentation with urging Chadron Leadership to stay involved in the community.
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In the afternoon, Leadership Chadron enjoyed a tour of the Chadron Volunteer Fire Department. Chadron VFD Chief Branden Martens discussed how the department serves its community by supplying the rescue / ambulance service in addition to fire control. Chief Martens was also assisted by Seth Peterson, Nebraska Forest Service SEAT plane controller. Together, Martens and Peterson use their resources to extinguish fires that threaten the area. Peterson used a wildfire management simulation table to demonstrate fire behavior and how the Chadron VFD would respond and station resources around an active fire.
The day was concluded with a trip to Chadron State Park (CSP) where Gregg Galbraith, superintendent of CSP, discussed improvements of the park. He even let slip of an upcoming mini golf course CSP is hoping to build in the next few years. Chadron Leadership toured the new in door shooting range. A few of the group members tried their hand at archery; they were surprisingly skilled!
Leadership Chadron will conclude the 2021-22 leadership program in May after another full day planned in April to discuss education in the Chadron area. If any individuals or businesses are interested in participating in the next Leadership Chadron group, please contact Deb Cottier Executive Director of Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation.