By Anne Koliha, Technician
A buffer is vegetated land adjacent to protected waters and is critically important to keeping our water clean, preventing erosion and provide habitat for wildlife. The MN Buffer Law that was signed into law back in June 2015 and amended in 2016 and 2017 requires perennial vegetative buffers of up to 50 feet along designated pr otected waters. You can view the DNR Public Waters map at arcgis.dnr.state.mn.us/gis/buffersviewer/.
Now that the MN Buffer Law is in full force for compliance, the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has been mandated to check 1/3 of all protected water buffers each year along with an additional 5% of random spot checks. You can view the Monitoring Plan on the Fillmore SWCD website, www.fillmoreswcd.org.
So, as to stay in compliance with the MN Buffer Law, continue to maintain buffers as installed and continue to maintain proper width of vegetation. Per the Buffer Law, buffers must remain at their original measurement. Which means that if you have lost buffer because of flooding or high water or have encroached from the cropland into the buffer you will need to re-establish the buffer area and seed down the proper width as required.
If you are looking at purchasing some new land or have acquired new land to operate, keep in mind compliance with the MN Buffer Law. This also goes for current landowners who may change operators of their land. Landowners are responsible for compliance of their land with the MN Buffer Law and need to keep the new operators aware that a buffer needs to be maintained along protected waters on the parcel of land.
Thank you, Fillmore County landowners, for doing your part to maintain compliance with the MN Buffer Law and protecting water quality now and for future generations. Any questions in regards to the MN Buffer Law and compliance of parcels please contact Anne Koliha at (507) 765-3878, ext. 123 or email@example.com.