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County Board approves agreement on buffer enforcement

The final draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on buffer enforcement between Kittson County and the Kittson Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has been approved by the Kittson County Board of Commissioners.

At the meeting on April 17, SWCD’s Justin Miller presented the final draft to the board for approval.

The MOU outlines what SWCD is responsible for in enforcement of the buffer law and establishes that the landowner is responsible and will be fined if non-compliant.

If a landowner lives elsewhere and rents out the land, the landowner is still responsible to make sure buffers are installed.

The ordinance adopted by the county is a fine-based system. A landowner is given 11 months to come into compliance without fines. After the 11 months, they would be fined $100 per parcel for six months. The fines increase up to $500 per parcel per day over a three-year time frame.

Landowners can seed their own buffers without the SWCD, but the SWCD is available to help if needed.

Commissioner Theresia Gillie asked about landowners losing out on tillable acres seeded into buffer strips. Miller estimated land seeded into buffers would be 10 acres per mile at most.

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

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