Farm Progress

DNR releases buffer maps

Local SWCDs are working with farmers now on buffers, alternative practices.

July 18, 2016

1 Min Read

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released the map of public waters and public ditches requiring permanent vegetative buffers or alternative water quality practices.

The map shows landowners and local governments where protective vegetative buffers of 16.5 feet or an average of 50 feet are required, as approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 2015 and revised in 2016.

More than 90,000 miles of waters in Minnesota require buffers or alternative water quality practices.

The map is available on the buffer webpage: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/buffers/index.html

Buffer deadlines are:

dnr_releases_buffer_maps_1_636044009308558520.jpg

•Nov 1, 2017: 50-foot average width, 30-foot minimum width, buffers must be in place on lands adjacent to public waters and identified and mapped on the buffer map.

•Nov. 1, 2018: 16.5-foot minimum width buffers must be in place on lands adjacent to public ditches as identified and mapped on the buffer map.

DNR officials note the map also labels a few sites as "needing field review." The DNR will organize on-site verification of these public water features and will change this temporary label within six months. The agency also excluded some public water wetlands from the map.

Local soil and water conservation districts are working with landowners to create the right size buffer or to select an alternative water quality practice. If the SWCDs, drainage authorities or other local governments identify errors in the map during landowner conversations, they will notify the DNR. The DNR will make corrections where appropriate and maintain an accurate map. The DNR will release updated maps in October and January.

The DNR is responsible for producing a map of the public waters and public ditches that require permanent vegetation buffers or alternative water quality practices.

Source: DNR

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