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Getting clarification on the Buffer Law

Buffer 2 CMYK

Around 60 landowners and farmers were in attendance at a public meeting held at Hallock City Hall on Tuesday, January 24, to address questions on the buffer law. The law requires all landowners to install a buffer of perennial vegetation of 16.5 feet on public ditches and 50 feet on public waterways.

Tom Gile, a program coordinator from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), spoke at the meeting, hosted by the Kittson Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

Gile began his presentation stating his intent was to provide clarity and context about what the buffer law is, acknowledging that the law has had a lot of confusion surrounding it. He clarified that the BWSR is separate from the Department of National Resources (DNR). The BWSR has about 100 people statewide.

The original buffer law was passed in 2015, but has undergone several revisions since then. The law states that the purpose of the buffers is to improve water quality by protecting state waters from pollution run-off and stabilizing banks and shorelines.

For more on this story, see this week’s North Star News!

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