In March 2014, the West Otter Tail SWCD, East Otter Tail SWCD, and Otter Tail County developed and adopted the Otter Tail County Buffer Initiative. Otter Tail County is unique in that there are 1,048 lakes, more than any other county in the United States, and 1,174 miles of rivers, streams, and ditches which totals 4,618 miles of shoreline. Because of this unique resource West Otter Tail SWCD, East Otter Tail SWCD and Otter Tail County are working in cooperation to protect the water resources within Otter Tail County.
The purpose of this initiative is to assist landowners and the County to move in the direction of 100% compliance with Minnesota’s new Buffer Law (Sec. 79. Minnesota Statutes 2015, Section 103F.48), existing Shoreland Management Rule for Agricultural Use Standards (Minnesota Rules, Chapter 6120, part 6120.3300, subpart 7, item B), and Otter Tail County’s Shoreland Management Ordinance for Agricultural Uses Standards, as noted in Section IV. 4.B. on page 17 in the Shoreland Management Ordinance of Otter Tail County, Minnesota (8/1/13).
Conservation buffers are best described as strips or other areas of land in permanent vegetation that help control pollutants, mitigate the movement of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides within farm fields and from farm fields. Filter strips, riparian buffers (predominantly trees and shrubs next to water courses), field borders, grassed waterways, field windbreaks, shelterbelts, and contour grass strips are all examples of conservation buffers. The small amount of land taken out of production helps producers meet environmental and economic goals.
Buffers can be especially helpful to you in maintaining a productive, profitable, and responsible farming or ranching operation. Today, America's farms and ranches do more than produce crops and livestock. They play an important role in maintaining the environmental quality enjoyed by all citizens. Conservation buffers can help you protect soil, air, and water quality and improve fish and wildlife habitat...while you demonstrate your commitment to land stewardship.
You can use conservation buffers along streams and around lakes or wetlands. They can also be installed within fields or at field edges. Buffers are most effective when they are combined with other practices, such as conservation tillage, nutrient management, and integrated pest management. Together, these practices can provide you with an effective, profitable conservation program.
Conservation buffers protect soil, improve air and water quality, enhance fish and wildlife habitat, and beautify the landscape. Conservation buffers shows a producer’s commitment to conservation and their willingness to protect the environment.
West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is honored to announce that the Otter Tail County Buffer Initiative has been awarded over $290,000 in funding from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.
In March 2014, the West Otter Tail SWCD, East Otter Tail SWCD, and Otter Tail County developed and adopted the Otter Tail County Buffer Initiative. Otter Tail County is unique in that there are 1,049 lakes, more than any other county in the United States, and 1,174 miles of rivers, streams, and ditches which totals 4,618 miles of shoreline. Because of this unique resource West Otter Tail SWCD, East Otter Tail SWCD and Otter Tail County are working in cooperation to protect the water resources within Otter Tail County.
Through the awarded Clean Water Fund grant, this initiative will accelerate the inventory of public waters and identify compliance with Shoreland Management Ordinance. This initiative aims to educate landowners and provide conservation programs to move in the direction of 100% compliance.
“Otter Tail County’s abundance of lakes, river, and streams are an important natural resource in our community,” Brad Mergens, District Manager said. “This grant funds will allow us to accelerate our work to protect and restore water quality. We’re grateful for support from all our partners and the commitment of our community to move this project forward.” Click here to read more
For more information please contact the West Otter Tail SWCD at 218-739-4694 ext. 4.