Please note our regular scheduled meeting in July will be held on the 18th at 7 a.m. at the USDA Service Center.
The Pope SWCD staff presented this year’s poster contest theme “We All Need Trees” to three schools Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Minnewaska, and Glacial Hills. The contest was open to 5th and 6th grade students. The winners are:
BBE and Overall Poster Contest Winners:
1st Place-Aynsley Preble
2nd Place-Lydia Mitchell
3rd Place-Ryli Laage
Glacial Hills Poster Contest Winners:
1st Place-Devin Mikel
2nd Place-Miranda Longtin
3rd Place-Dominic Maijala
Minnewaska Poster Contest Winners:
1st Place-Dakota Holder
2nd Place-Berkley Steffen
3rd Place-Lily Anderson
Pope County Natural Resources, Pope SWCD, the Land Stewardship project, and Glacial Ridge Cattelmen’s Association, will be hosting a grazing management field day. The field day will consist of a tour of two operating rotational grazing systems where the producers will share information on their projects including fencing, watering systems, utilizing cover crops, and invasive species management.
The tour will focus on beef cattle operations but management practices can be applied to all classes of grazing livestock. Topics covered will include:
Intensive grazing for pasture production and for rejuvenating native prairie
- Utilizing a pipeline system to provide clean water to grazing livestock
- Utilizing cover crops to assist in removing old pastures, grazing and improving soil health
- Invasive species management to improve pasture and grassland health
- A rainfall simulator demonstration will be presented showing how good stewardship protects our soils.
An evening meal will be provided. Reservations are requested by July 14th to secure a meal. For more information contact the Pope NRCS/SWCD office at 320-634-5327.
Comment Period Open on Statewide Buffer Mapping Project
In the previous year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been creating a Buffer Protection Map, based on the current public waters inventory, distinguishing the public waters requiring a buffer. Buffers are defined as “an area consisting of perennial vegetation, excluding invasive plants and noxious weeds, adjacent to bodies of water within the state and that protects the water resources of the state from runoff pollution; stabilizes soils, shores and banks; and protects or provides riparian corridors”. The Minnesota DNR has produced a preliminary buffer map. This map is currently open for public viewing, review, and has an open comment period. The buffer protection map can be found online at http://arcgis.dnr.state.mn.us/gis/buffersviewer/. The comment period will be close May 31, 2016.
After the comment period is closed, the Minnesota DNR will begin finalization of the Buffer Protection Map’s public waters and ditches. Public waters will be required to have a 50 foot average with a 30 foot minimum buffer by November 1, 2017. County Ditches will be required to have a 16.5 foot buffer by November 1, 2018. Please be aware that Pope County has a shoreland ordinance. The counties shoreland ordinance requires a 50 foot, no variable width, buffer on multiple water bodies, including some county ditches. This information can be found at the Pope County Land and Resource office, Pope Soil and Water Conservation District office and online at http://gis.co.pope.mn.us/link/jsfe/index.aspx?defaultRole=Public.
Pope Soil and Water Conservation District is able to assist each landowner with identifying areas of interest, determining requirements, technical assistance, and compliance verification. We can also review the DNR buffer map with you and submit the comments directly. If you have questions or concerns about what may be required, technical assistance, or other guidance about the Buffer and Soil Loss Statute, please stop by the office or make an appointment with Jessica Oldakowski.