By Steve White email@example.com
It's a front row seat to drought; A lawn chair placed smack in the middle of the Platte River illustrates how quickly the river has run dry, killing fish and threatening endangered species.
"This may concentrate fish to remaining water if wanter continues to dry down, some of those
fish may die as they have in the lower Platte, "Greg Wright said.
He has witnessed the drought on two fronts, as he just came back from the Valentine area where hundreds of thousands of acres burn.
"Devastating to see how much property was consumed by that," he said.
Now Wright, a wildlife biologist with the Crane Trust assesses another toll of drought on the
He said, "Things that were islands become connected to shore and therefore subject to predators."
A year after the Platte flooded in areas, there's no water to measure.
Duane Woodward of the Central Platte Natural Resource District said, "We had five times more than normal last year, this year we're way below normal."
It's been more than a half-century since drought set in so quickly. And the concerns are mounting rapidly.
Woodward said, "We've had such a long irrigation season that started in late May and normally we don't start until July so we're drawing on the aquifer so that's one of the concerns."
As kids play in the river and four-wheelers tear by, some are concerned it will damage habitat. Plus unwanted vegetation may creep in.
Wright said, "The longer those sandbars are left out of the water, more opportunity they have to become vegetated."
Greg has seen the devastation in two places, from the river to the wildfire, and hopes to close this chapter soon.
He said, "A lot of people are fighting for what they love and hopefully that works out and hopefully we get relief in the weather."
It's hard to imagine just a year and a half ago we had ice jams on the Platte. Nebraska will need another snow-packed winter this year to begin to recover.