Receiving a plaque honoring the late Ron Milner during the annual NARD Hall of Fame banquet were members of his family, including, left to right, Jerry Milner, Molly Milner, Mark Graff, Becky Carman, Craig Heskett, Deb Heskett, Linda Graff, Lt. Governor Mike Foley, Monna Milner, Jasper Fanning, general manager of the URNRD and Larry Reynolds, president of NARD. (Courtesy photo)

Ron Milner, former general manager of URNRD. (Johnson Publications file photo)

Milner inducted into NRD Hall of Fame

    The late Ron Milner of Imperial, a longtime manager of the Upper Republican Natural Resource District (URNRD), was inducted into the Nebraska Association of Natural Resources Districts’ Hall of Fame at the NARD annual conference Monday night in Kearney.
    Milner was the first general manager of the Upper Republican NRD from 1972 to 1997. He helped pass the Groundwater Management Act in 1976.
    Extensive irrigation development occurred in southwest Nebraska during the 1960s and 1970s. The NRD district established a comprehensive monitoring system and set up a computer model study to measure the patterns of the underground water table.
    When it was established that the aquifer level was declining the NRD set up control rules and regulations, including water allocation.
    According to a Nebraska NRD press release, “With his guidance, in 1978 the URNRD became the first in the state to require metering and reporting of groundwater use.”
    “There was great opposition to the metering,” the press release said, “but Milner knew it was the right decision to make and it would be beneficial to the conservation of groundwater.”

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