Lakes are the lifeblood of Becker County, and when a lake becomes impaired it can have significant impacts on the local economy. A study conducted within the Pelican River Watershed area in Becker County found that a mere 1-foot decline in water clarity translated to an approximate $11,500 average loss of value per parcel of lakeshore property.
After more than two years of planning and laying the foundation for Minnesota CREP, the program officially launched and began taking its first applications this spring. The program is a partnership between the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and the United States Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency (FSA). MN CREP uses a science-based approach to target environmentally sensitive land across 54 counties in southern and western Minnesota.
The Otter Tail River devoured topsoil by the ton. As it wound toward the Red River of the North and Lake Winnipeg, the Otter Tail bit into 80 acres of Wilkin County clay – good cropland, in Karlo Etten’s family for 100-plus years. The bank dropped 15 feet at its steepest point along a curve that defined the field’s edge.