Beltrami SWCD’s Clean Water Fund-backed project targets nutrient-impaired Lake Irving, but its benefits extend to Lake Bemidji and beyond. The work will safeguard a source of Twin Cities drinking water, contain the flow in case of an oil spill, beautify a bike trail and increase pollinator habitat.
A Climate Week event near Austin in Mower County highlighted the sort of projects the Minnesota Legislature had in mind when it required BWSR to develop a water storage and treatment program, and then allocated $2 million. The intent is to mitigate the effects of climate change, protect infrastructure and improve water quality.
"If we're going to manage for clean water, clean air, habitat, all those benefits forests bring, we can't just look at (publicly owned) forests. We have to look at it all – and that includes private forestland." — Gary Michael, DNR cooperative forest management supervisor