The waters of northeast Minnesota are one of the jewels in our state’s crown. They are important natural resources, an economic driver, and a destination for tourists and sportspeople alike. Impaired watersheds are rare in this part of the state and the Knife River is one of them. Read the story here.
Since the mid-1980s, the Board of Water and Soil Resources Re-Invest in Minnesota (RIM) Program has been working with local governments and private landowners to provide permanent protection of private lands. One of the key components of the RIM program has been wetland restorations. Since it began, RIM has protected 75,000 acres of wetland restorations and their surrounding upland habitat. Read the story here.
Wetlands are an important part of Minnesota’s natural resources. Unfortunately, decades of wetland drainage and degradation have greatly diminished wetland resources and the functions they provide. Minnesota, like many other states is seeking to reverse that trend by restoring drained and altered wetlands to improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat and biodiversity, reduce erosion, provide flood damage reduction benefits, groundwater recharge, and increased recreational opportunities. To help with these efforts, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources recently unveiled the new Minnesota Wetland Restoration Guide. Read the story here.
A new color will soon be taking over post-harvest crop fields in southeastern Minnesota: Green! This part of our state is famous for its beautiful farms, rolling hills, caves and dramatic bluffs and valleys. What makes this area beautiful also presents challenges for water quality. Soil erosion from highly erodible land in combination with conventional farming practices and proximity to groundwater via karst topography pollutes ground and surface waters. However, the use of cover crops has been found to slow erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds, help control pests and diseases and increase biodiversity. Read the story here.
For the last several years, BWSR Academy has been a staff development destination for conservation professionals in Minnesota. This was another record-breaking year, as 420 attendees gathered together to learn with and from each other this past October. Read the story here.
American Elderberry is an excellent shrub for riparian buffers as it has attractive flowers, provides exceptional wildlife value, and stabilizes soils with an extensive root system. Its vibrant white flowers bloom in late summer and develop into black berries that are prized by small mammals, as well as a wide variety of birds including cardinals, sparrows, waxwings, catbirds, robins, and finches. Learn more here.