In March 2014, the West Otter Tail SWCD, East Otter Tail SWCD, and Otter Tail County developed and adopted the Otter Tail County Buffer Initiative. Otter Tail County is unique in that there are 1,048 lakes, more than any other county in the United States, and 1,174 miles of rivers, streams, and ditches which totals 4,618 miles of shoreline. Because of this unique resource West Otter Tail SWCD, East Otter Tail SWCD and Otter Tail County are working in cooperation to protect the water resources within Otter Tail County.
Purpose: The purpose of this initiative is to assist landowners and the County to move in the direction of 100% compliance with Minnesota’s new Buffer Law (Sec. 79. Minnesota Statutes 2015, Section 103F.48), existing Shoreland Management Rule for Agricultural Use Standards (Minnesota Rules, Chapter 6120, part 6120.3300, subpart 7, item B), and Otter Tail County’s Shoreland Management Ordinance for Agricultural Uses Standards, as noted in Section IV. 4.B. on page 17 in the Shoreland Management Ordinance of Otter Tail County, Minnesota (8/1/13). Click here to find more about the Otter Tail County Buffer Initiative
WHAT IS A BUFFER ?
- Slow water runoff.
- Remove up to 50% or more of nutrients and pesticides in runoff.
- Remove up do 60% or more of pathogens in runoff.
- Remove up to 75% or more of sediment in runoff.
- Reduce noise and odor.
- Serve as a source of food, nesting cover, and shelter for wildlife.
- Stabilize streambanks and reduce water temperature in stream.
- Provide a setback distance for agricultural chemical use from watercourses.
- Reduce downstream flooding
- Represents profitable, common sense conservation for landowners.
- Reduced risk of tractor rollover due to set back of steep ditch or creek.
- Take advantage of incentives. provided to establish buffers from local, state, and federal programs.
- Establishment of natural vegetation.