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Be Aware of All Requirements When Clearing Trees

Thu, Jun 27th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

When clear cutting more than 10,000 square feet of land (or an area equivalent to 100’ x 100’), the Fillmore County Soil Erosion Control Ordinance requires that the Fillmore County Zoning Office is contacted for a permit. Many areas are being cleared of trees this year to open up new cropland. Landowners who sodbust land that has not been previously farmed and clear trees from the land must complete paperwork at the USDA Farm Service Agency to ensure continued eligibility for federal farm programs. If the land is highly erodible, a conservation plan must be completed to ensure that soil erosion is controlled. If wetlands are present, a certified wetland determination is needed. If the land is not highly erodible and has no wetlands, no further action is needed to comply with federal farm program requirements.

However, the Fillmore County Soil Erosion Control Ordinance requires that clearing of trees on any land, whether highly erodible or not, is done with the approval of the Zoning Office. Even on non-highly erodible land, a soil erosion control plan may still be needed to ensure that the cleared area will not be prone to excessive erosion over the tolerable soil loss, (i.e. the rate at which soil can be lost and still maintain its productivity over the long term).

If trees are being cleared or other land alterations are made along DNR Protected Waters, there are additional requirements under the DNR Shoreland Ordinance, which is administered by Fillmore County Zoning Office. To determine whether the land is adjacent to DNR Protected Waters, a map of the DNR Protected Waters in Fillmore County can be viewed at

For more information about clearing trees, contact the Fillmore County Zoning Office at 507-765-3878.

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