The French traders first visited Nebraska in the late 1600s. The first permanent white settlement was established in 1823. Western Nebraska was acquired by treaty following the Mexican War in 1848. Nebraska became a territory after passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. Congress passed an enabling act for statehood in 1864, but the original provision in the state constitution delayed statehood until 1867.
Nebraska’s deciduous forests are generally oak and hickory, conifer forests are dominated by western yellow pine. Various slough grasses, needle grasses, along with big bluestem, prairie dropseed, western wheatgrass and buffalo grass, and other grasses abound the region. Rare species of Nebraska’s flora include the yellow ladyslipper, pawpaw, and snow trillium. Three species are now threatened, which include, Ute ladies’ tresses, prairie fringed orchid, and Colorado butterfly plant.
Common mammals native to the state are the pronghorn sheep, white-tailed and mule deer, badger, kit fox, coyote, striped ground squirrel, prairie vole and several skunk species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed 9 animal species as threatened or endangered, including the American burying beetle, bald eagle, whooping crane, black-footed ferret, pallid sturgeon, and Eskimo curlew.
Electronic design and manufacturing companies of Nebraska are taking steps to make products more “Green”. Reduction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) requirements limit the amount of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and two types of brominated flame retardant in products sold in the European Union, to help reduce the environmental impacts these chemicals have on the eco-system.
State Department of Agriculture-Forest Service, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency are all taking active steps to implement the following programs and projects: Solar Energy Program; controlled water circulation; Energy Efficient Lighting Retrofit; weatherization; Zero Energy Home Incentives; installing LED traffic signals and streetlights; improving energy efficiency in private sectors; government buildings energy audits and improvements; lighting retrofits at government facilities; installation of solar hot water systems; photovoltaic system; switching to biofuel; geothermal activities; Climate Action Plan; Community Energy Conservation Grants; usage of Compressed Natural Gas; Recycling Education and Awareness Program; Natural Resource Conservation Program; Energy Savings Performance Program; Hybrid Vehicle City Fleet Enrichment Program; Traffic Signal LED Retrofit; Bicycle Transit Improvement Project; Energy Efficient Residential Construction Grant Program; Master Plan for Sustainable Energy in Parks; Anti-Idling Vehicle Emission Reduction; Commercial Sustainability Outreach Program; Renewable Energy Projects; waste disposal and recycling; Green Code adoption, etc.