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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Names DNR Director

Lincoln – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced Jeff Fassett, P.E. as the new Director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.

Fassett is the Director of the Water Rights Strategic Program for HDR Engineering, Inc., where he has been involved with water supply, water rights, and water resources development projects across several regions and states. During this time, he has also kept a water rights and water resources engineering practice in Wyoming and Colorado for a wide variety of municipal, state government, energy, mining, and private landowner clients.

Previously, Fassett operated Cheyenne-based Fassett Consulting, LLC, an engineering consulting firm that specialized in water rights, water resources engineering, and water policy matters.

From 1987-2000, Fassett served as the State Engineer and chief water resource official in the cabinet of the Governor of Wyoming for two administrations. As State Engineer, he served as the director of all policy, technical, and administrative responsibilities of the cabinet-level agency responsible for the appropriation, beneficial use, and general supervision and regulation of all waters in the state. His accomplishments as State Engineer include, among many others:

  •       Implementation Committee Member of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Species Recovery Program
  •       Wyoming Commissioner for the Upper Colorado River Commission
  •       Wyoming Commissioner for the Yellowstone River Compact Commission
  •       Wyoming Commissioner for the Snake River Compact
  •       Wyoming Commissioner for the Bear River Commission
  •       Representative for settlement negotiations in the Nebraska v. Wyoming equitable apportionment litigation
  •       Led the negotiation and implementation of the Platte River Cooperative Agreement

Fassett also served as Deputy State Engineer for the State of Wyoming from 1984-1987.

“I look forward to applying the knowledge gained from past experiences in this new capacity,” said Jeff Fassett. “Nebraska shares some similarities to the State of Wyoming, and I look forward to building a strategy for the department and the State of Nebraska.”

“Jeff’s leadership will ensure that the department continues to manage our state’s natural resources so that our state remains a great place for families to live, agribusinesses to grow, and tourism to thrive,” said Governor Ricketts. “His broad skills will aid the department in setting a strategy that properly balances the many interests in our natural resources.”

Fassett holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Wyoming. He is a registered professional engineer in Wyoming and Colorado.

The new director starts August 3, 2015 at a salary of $145,000.