THEDFORD,, Neb. The group, "Preserve the Sandhills" met at the Thomas County Fairgrounds after they heard their meeting with US Fish and Wildlife Service was postponed for a second time. The other, was back in August.
Communications Director for the group, Craig Andresen says, he got the phone call from a US Fish and Wildlife official Tuesday afternoon about the postponement.
Still, about thirty landowners from Cherry, Logan, Thomas and Blaine County showed up to the meeting on Wednesday.
Landowners fear the 225 mile transmission line route will have a negative impact on ground water, the aquifer, wetlands, wildlife, and the American burying beetle.
Andresen says he strongly believes the postponement was another stunt pulled by Nebraska Public Power District.
"That tells me that, because I think NPPD is still involved in getting this thing called off tonight; I think NPPD is terrified of the questions we might ask and the answers we might receive," he said. "I think maybe, just maybe, US Fish and Wildlife is getting a little gun shy of showing up and fielding our questions because they know they are going to deal with NPPD down the road."
We reached out to the US Fish and Wildlife Service as to why the meeting was postponed Wednesday.
Biologist Bob Harms says they were unsure if the advertisement to the meeting had been distributed to the media outlets in time. However, Harms learned Wednesday that it indeed they were published in the newspapers, including the local paper.
Harms also said the higher ups in Washington D.C. had the first meeting in July postponed because NPPD did not like the tone of the Sandhills Preservation Group Facebook page.
Officials with NPPD said Thursday, they had nothing to do with the postponement of the meeting on Wednesday.
When asked about the first meeting being postponed, they said "talk to the US Fish and Wildlife Service."
The next meeting is scheduled for October 25th at the Thomas County Fairgrounds at 6 pm.