The Minnesota legislature passed language related to vegetative buffers on public waters and ditches in 2015, then clarified that language in the 2016 session.
Setting the stage for the post-fact universe, representatives like our own Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley, voted "yes" on the bills both years, then blamed the legislation on an evil metro lawmaker who didn't write the bills and voted against it.
Since that level of confusion abides around this issue, Bluestem recommends that readers check out the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Buffer Program website. BWSR (pronounced Bowser by most folks who talk about the agency) wants public to do so and comment on whether this dog will hunt (as we colorful rural folk say).
Here's the press release from BWSR:
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is charged with overseeing program implementation of the buffer law. The agency is currently seeking public comment on key components of its Buffer program.
The Requests for Comment [link to pdf added by Bluestem] and supporting documents are available on the BWSR Buffer Program website. BWSR is looking for feedback on the following policies and model rules [Bluestem has added the links to the pdfs]:
- Initial Election of Jurisdiction Policy
- Enforcement Procedures and Administrative Penalty Order Plan
- Model county ordinance as an option for counties electing to exercise jurisdiction.
- Model watershed district rule as an option for districts electing to exercise jurisdiction.<
Comments from stakeholders are a key part of the process, and will be considered during policy development. Anticipated action on these policies is expected at the January 2017 BWSR Board meeting.
Information and comments on the policies and model rules will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on January 9, 2017. Comments may be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via U.S. mail to David Weirens, Asst. Director for Programs and Policy, BWSR, 520 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.
All joking aside, Minnesotans who care about water quality should read and comment on these documents. We're all stakeholders when it comes to water quality and soil conservation.
Photo: A buffer, via the Minnesota Soybean Growers' post, DNR Releases Buffer Mapping Project Details.
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