A Line in the Sand
Out here, where grassy dunes stipple the prairie like ski moguls as far as the eye can see, the story is in the sand and those who mend it. Today, despite numerous pleas from a ranching community that has been safeguarding these hills for nearly a century and a half, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)—the state’s largest electric utility—is moving forward with plans to construct a high-voltage transmission line through the heart of the Nebraska Sandhills. NPPD claims the transmission line is a public necessity, intended to improve reliability of the entire regional power system—including the Sandhills region. Nevertheless, lifelong Sandhillers like Lowery and others fear the consequences on the land of a project this big in a region so sensitive to change, and question whether NPPD has the know-how to responsibly install it.