After 38 years working in the NRD system, Jim Becic, environmental coordinator extraordinaire, is retiring and looking forward to restoring and spending more time in his own habitat.
Jim worked for five years at the Middle Missouri River Tributaries NRD and then moved to Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District when the two NRDs merged. To say he accomplished a lot is an understatement.
So, what made Jim stay at the Papio NRD all these years?
Jim: There is really no other public entity that currently acquires and/or restores habitat as a priority. Being a biologist, working as a part of the NRD system is a unique opportunity. While at this NRD, we’ve acquired and/or restored thousands of acres of habitat to include over a dozen project sites in our six county reach.
Quite a few projects stand out as his favorites.
Jim: The Boyer Chute in Southern Washington County along the Missouri River with the resulting creation of a National Wildlife Refuge. The initial acquisition of about 2,000 acres with an additional 650 acres with Nathan’s Lake and the adjacent Stratbucker site and other tracts subsequently acquired by the Fish and Wildlife Service has increase the refuge size to well over 4,000 acres and growing. AND the people working at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Corps of Engineers, the Nebraska Environmental Trust and certainly the NRD were all excellent partners.
What’s he looking forward to in retirement?
Jim: Not setting the alarm…or getting on the interstate on the way to or from work. (Bike trips, cooking, more leisurely property maintenance, death.)
Yes, he said “death.” We will certainly miss Jim’s crazy sense of humor! Most importantly, Jim we thank you, our environment thanks you, and our wildlife thank you for literally making our six-county world a much, much better place. Enjoy your retirement. It is beyond well-deserved!