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Todd County public waters buffers reduced to 166 acres

Editor's note: The following was provided by the Todd County Soil and Water Conservation District.

How many acres of buffers do you think Todd County needs on public waters... 400, 700, more than 1,000? None of those numbers are correct.

Through intensive aerial review, outreach, and site visits Todd Soil and Water Conservation District has been able to reduce the number of buffers needed on public waters in the county to 166 acres. Are you one of the landowners needing to install buffers? You can find out by stopping by the SWCD office in the Historic Courthouse or by looking at the DNR buffer map online at: arcgis.dnr.state.mn.us/gis/buffersviewer .

By Nov. 1 of this year all buffers on public waters need to be installed. On public waters, the buffers need to be an average of 50 feet wide with a minimum width of 30 feet. The average is measured on a per-parcel basis. Next year on Nov. 1, 2018, 16.5 foot buffers need to be installed on all county ditches. Buffers' widths are measured from the top of the bank. If there is no defined bank then they are measured from the normal water level. Pastures and hay fields are allowed in the buffer zones, as long as permanent cover is maintained.

Financial assistance is available through the conservation district, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, or the Sauk River Watershed District. Keep in mind when using a conservation program to install your buffers, there may be limits on what the buffer area can be used for and what can be planted.

If you have questions about the state buffer law or would like technical assistance please contact the conservation district office at (320) 732-2644.

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