Brown SWCD provides buffer legislation update

SLEEPY EYE – In June of this year, Governor Mark Dayton signed into law a new buffer initiative aimed at enhancing protection of Minnesota’s waters. The buffer initiative will help protect the state’s water resources from erosion and runoff pollution by establishing roughly 110,000 acres of buffer along waterways.

The new law generated a significant amount of interest, and landowners likely have many questions about how it will impact their property. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, which will oversee the process, is working to get program details underway. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is beginning to create the buffer protection maps that will determine what waters are subject to the new law. Completion of those maps is expected by July 2016.

Landowners may install buffers on their own at any time, or can wait until those maps are complete in 2016. The new law specifies November 2017 as the deadline for establishment of 50-foot wide buffers on public waters and November 2018 for 16.5-foot wide buffers on public drainage systems.

“Brown Soil and Water Conservation District is ready to provide technical assistance to any county resident looking to install conservation practices on their land,” Douglas Goodrich, District Manager said. “We can help walk you through the process, apply for funding, and be an ongoing resource for establishing buffers and other conservation practices.”

For more information about the Governor’s buffer law, please visit:

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