Minnesota farmers and land owners affected by the state's buffer law can now find the information they need on a new, easy-to-use website. This one-stop site provides links and resources to help answer questions about water quality buffers, access financial and technical assistance to install buffers, and more.
Governor Dayton worked with lawmakers to give additional flexibility to farmers and landowners who require financial and technical assistance to comply with the clean water buffer standards and are making good faith efforts with their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). November 2017 is the deadline to install water quality buffers on lands adjacent to public waters, and November 2018 for lands adjacent to public ditches.
Landowners who cannot meet the first deadline may commit to a compliance plan with their local SWCD by November 1, 2017, and then have until July 1, 2018, to implement their buffer or alternative practice. These waivers will offer landowners up to eight months to work with their local SWCD to implement buffers and alternative practices. The law on alternative practices now includes the common practices adopted and published by the Board of Water Soil Resources, or practices approved by the local SWCD consistent with the Field Office Technical Guide.
The Board of Water and Soil Resources reports that statewide 89% of parcels adjacent to Minnesota waters meet preliminary compliance with the law. SWCDs are reporting encouraging progress in their work with landowners around the state. View the buffer maps for a visual representation of the buffer law.