LeSueur County Soil And Water Conservation District
August 2015 Ditch Buffer Landowner Letter:
During the 2015 special legislative session, Governor Dayton signed into law a new Buffer Initiative. The new law establishes vegetative buffers on public waters/streams and along county ditches.
The buffer law timeline is as follows:
Public waters – buffers established by November 1, 2017
Country drainage systems – buffers established by November 1, 2018
Widths for buffers are as follows:
- County ditches – 16.5’
- DNR public waters (lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands) – 50’
1.COMPLIANCE TRACKING OF ALL PARCELS SUBJECT TO THE BUFFER LAW
All parcels in the Le Sueur county are to be reviewed within a 3 year timeframe. These checks may be conducted via aerial photo review or on-site review depending on availability of updated aerial photos and the practice that is being checked/access to farms.
2.RANDOM SPOT CHECKS
Random spot checks will be done in addition to the tracking of all parcels within a 3 year span. These checks may be conducted via aerial photo review or on-site review depending on availability of updated aerial photos and the practice that is being checked/access to farms. A combination of both aerial and on-site review may also be used. Le Sueur County will be conduct 5% of parcels in a random spot check every year. Additionally, Le Sueur County will review parcels of emphasis more frequently. These include:
No-till/Conservation tillage or cover crop alternative practice plans
Variable width buffers (i.e. Land O’ Lakes buffer tool, Decision Support Tool)
Other Alternative Practice Plans
Cost-share funded projects
Parcels of further emphasis
3.PROCESS TO HANDLE COMPLAINTS
Le Sueur County will review any violation complaints from the public and other agencies. Le Sueur County will maintain a record of this complaint and determine if the complaint requires further investigation. If a violation is found the County will follow the le Sueur County Buffer law Ordinance and notify BWSR.
Programs Available for Buffers:
CRP- A cost-share and rental payment program under the USDA, and is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Technical assistance for CRP is provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Buffer Cost-Share – Cost share assistance for installation of buffers strips and alternative practices so land owner can be compliant with Minnesota Buffer Law.
EQIP- to provide cost-sharing assistance, but also technical aimed at promoting production and environmental quality, and optimizing environmental benefits provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
MN CREP -A voluntary, state-federal funded natural resource conservation program that uses a science-based approach to target environmentally sensitive land.