New buffer maps reflect input from state’s land owners

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Updated Minnesota buffer maps have been released by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as it moves to implement a law passed by the Minnesota Legislature last year.

The original maps were released last July, but have were updated to include new data and changes that have occurred with land and water use over the years. Another update is planned before the maps are finalized.

The map shows public waters and public ditches requiring permanent vegetative buffers or alternative water quality practices to help reduce nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment runoff.

The update is also based on comments and change requests from landowners and drainage authorities to ensure the map accurately shows where buffers are needed, the DNR says. The update includes 645 changes.

Not all comments resulted in changes. The DNR says it found some of the change requests lacked foundation, while others were comments were duplicates of previous comments it had received. There are still some comments that require review or action, it added.

Nearly 1,000 comments involve discrepancies in watercourse alignments or lake and wetland boundaries while 500 comments involve additions to or deletions from the public ditch inventory, as directed by drainage authorities.

Another 275 comments relate to public waters inventory status. Using statutory public waters inventory criteria, the DNR has removed 120 water features from the buffer map and added 40.

More than 600 locations require field review with 133 field reviews already completed and the balance expected to be completed before the end of the year.

After preliminary buffer map was released in March, the DNR has received more than 3,400 comments or change requests and has made nearly 2,100 map updates....

 

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