Freeborn Co. SWCD to host informational buffer law meetings

Published 9:14 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Minnesota buffer law was passed through the Minnesota Legislature in 2015 to help protect water resources from erosion and runoff pollution by establishing buffers.

The law requires 50 feet of vegetative buffer on public waters by Nov. 1 and 16.5 feet of vegetative buffer on public ditches by Nov. 1, 2018.

Several parcels of land have been identified as being on or very near to surface waters that will need to have a buffer installed. Many buffers are already in place due to voluntary conservation efforts and the public ditch system. However, many areas still need to have a buffer installed to be in compliance with the Minnesota buffer law.

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Buffers have been shown to be effective at improving water quality and have long life expectancies.

Soil and Water Conservation District staff have planned five informational meetings for area residents. Staff will have maps available so residents can tell what portions of their property may be affected. SWCD staff will also discuss deadlines, exemptions, what is needed to be in compliance and cost share opportunities.

The meetings on March 31 will feature Tom Gile, buffer and soil loss coordinator for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. Meetings are open to landowners and operators, who can attend the meeting of their choice.

Meetings are at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the county board room at the Freeborn County Courthouse; 10 a.m. March 28 at the American Legion in Freeborn; 2 p.m. March 28 at Conger Community Center in Conger; 10 a.m. March 31at Hollandale Government Center in Hollandale; and 2 p.m. at Glenville American Legion Post 264 in Glenville.