In 2016, the Pipestone SWCD sent letters to landowners notifying them if they would be effected by the buffer law. A second letter and map was sent to those who were identified with areas of land that were in need of a buffer.
Minnesota's buffer law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along lakes, rivers, and streams and buffers of 16.5 feet long ditches. These buffers will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The deadline for implementation for buffers on public waters was November 1, 2017. The deadline for public ditches was November 1, 2018. The law provides flexibility for landowners to install alternative practices with equivalent water quality benefits that are based on the Natural Resource Conservation Service Field Office Technical Guide.
Conservation buffers are best described as strips or other areas of land in permanent vegetation that help control pollutants and manage other environmental concerns. Filter strips, riparian buffers (predominantly trees and shrubs next to water courses), field boarders, grassed waterways, field windbreaks, and contour grass strips are all examples of conservation buffers.
Buffers are needed:
Farmers may find information related to installing and funding buffer strips by contacting our office. Nicole from the Soil and Water Conservation District is here to assist landowners and operators! If you find yourself needing answers to your questions please give Nicole a call or stop by our office.
Information about funding through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is available from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) website: www.nrcs.usda.gov.
For more information on drainage ditch buffers, see the Board of Water and Soil Resources website.
Buffers help by:
To ensure riparian protections continue to exist, compliance tracking of all parcels in Pipestone County subject to the Buffer Law will be monitored at least once every three years starting November 2, 2018 and upon release of new, update, aerial imagery. Means of compliance tracking may include, but is not limited to: use of available imagery sources, field visits, etc...
Click on the link above to learn more about where the DNR is at with creating the Official State Buffer Map.
At any point in time, the SWCD may complete compliance spot checks at random and for any reason, conduct field review, handle complaints whenever necessary, and issue a validation of compliance if requested.