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Henry Van Offelen Red River Basin Coordinator DNR Roundtable January 16, 2015 Comprehensive Natural Resource Planning in the Red River Basin: Simplifying.

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Presentation on theme: "Henry Van Offelen Red River Basin Coordinator DNR Roundtable January 16, 2015 Comprehensive Natural Resource Planning in the Red River Basin: Simplifying."— Presentation transcript:

1 Henry Van Offelen Red River Basin Coordinator DNR Roundtable January 16, 2015 Comprehensive Natural Resource Planning in the Red River Basin: Simplifying a complex process to essential objectives and actions for healthier watersheds

2 Brief Review of Traditional Approach to Natural Resource (NR) planning Brief Review of Traditional Approach to Natural Resource (NR) planning A Model for Next Generation watershed- based NR planning A Model for Next Generation watershed- based NR planning How do effectively and efficiently get to implementation? Presentation Overview

3 Red River Basin Resources

4 Traditional Conservation Planning and Implementation Traditional Conservation Planning and Implementation 1. Gather best available science and knowledge. 2. Develop a plan for a species or habitat of concern that includes:  General goals and objectives.  List of general strategies to achieve goals (regulatory, non-regulatory, research, monitoring, education, etc.).  Recommend strategies be implemented as the opportunities present themselves and as funding becomes available. 3. Trust the plan will be implemented 4. Re-write plan in 10 years

5 Picture of plans

6 and integrate

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8 Store water where it falls. Store water where it falls. Maintain good water quality. Maintain good water quality. Manage invasive species. Manage invasive species. Reduce streambank erosion. Reduce streambank erosion. Encourage prairie restoration efforts Encourage prairie restoration efforts Example goals from these state level plans

9 “100,000 ft View”

10 “30,000 ft View”

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12 Keep in mind The scale at which actions to improve watershed health need to delivered.

13 “1,000 ft View”

14 100 foot view “100 ft View”

15 Ground view “Boots on the ground”

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17 Future conservation planning Future conservation planning 1. Gather best available science and knowledge. 2. Develop a plan with goals and objectives. 3. Prioritize and recommend strategies/actions 4. Strategically implement actions and actively pursue funding. 5. Measure progress and adapt.

18 New approach

19 Step 1- Describe the watershed

20 Slide with 30 maps describing the watershed

21 Step 2 - Problem Identification 1. Altered hydrology 2. Loss of habitat (upland, aquatic, and riparian) 3. Degraded habitats (upland, aquatic, and riparian) 4. Loss of connectivity among upland, aquatic, and riparian habitats (also, there may be too much) 5. Degraded water quality 6. Degraded soil health

22 Step 3- Review Relevant Plans 1. Red River Basin Mediation Agreement (1998) 2. Middle, Snake, Tamarac River Watershed District Plan (2012) 3. Natural Resource Assessment of the Middle, Snake, Tamarac River Watershed 4. DNR Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy- Tomorrow’s Habitat for the Wild and Rare 5. DNR Duck Recovery Plan 6. USFWS HAPET Resources 7. DNR Watershed Health Assessment Framework Resources (WHAF) 8. Fisheries Related Surveys and Management Plans 9. MPCA Impaired Waters Listing and TMDL Plans 10. MPCA Red River Basin Water Quality Plan 11. County Water Plans (18 in basin) 12. Minnesota State Conservation and Preservation Plan (SCPP) 13. Minnesota Sustainable Water Framework (MSWF) 14. Minnesota Prairie Plan 15. Minnesota Fish Habitat Plan 16. North American Waterfowl Plan - Prairie Pothole Joint Venture (PPJV) 17. Campaign for Conservation: A Fifty Year Vision 18. Aspen Parklands Subsection Forest Management Plan (Aspen Parklands SFRMP) 19. Conservation Area Plan for the Tallgrass Aspen Parkland 20. User’s Guide to Natural Resource Enhancement in the Red River Basin. 21. Red River Basin Commission - Natural Resource Framework Plan (NRFP). 22. Red River Basin Commission: Long Term Flood Solutions (LTFS).

23 Step 4 – Set goals to improve watershed health 1. Protect Existing Upland, Wetland, Riparian, and Aquatic Habitats 2. Protect Groundwater Resources 3. Improve condition of Existing Upland and Wetland Habitats 4. Improve conditions of Natural, Altered, and Artificial Watercourses and Riparian Habitats 5. Improve Hydrologic Conditions 6. Improve Water Quality 7. Improve Soil Health

24 Review actions to frame objectives 1. Land use change 2. Land use practice change (tillage) 3. Drainage system BMPs including effective buffers, side inlets, culvert sizing, controlled drainage, two- stage systems, improvements, abandonment 4. Water retention and detention Sediment basins, Impoundments, Wetlands, Culvert sizing 5. Riparian buffers and filter strips 6. Channel stabilization 7. Channel rehabilitation/restoration 8. Intensive management of existing perennial vegetation 9. Regulatory approaches (e.g. shoreland ordinance, public water works permits, soil loss ordinances, land use ordinances, storm water utility)

25 Keep prioritization in mind to set objectives

26 Objectives Two Categories (usually): 1. Upland, Wetland, and other Terrestrial Habitats 2. Watercourses and Riparian Area State objectives in the format of: Take this action, in these priority locations, and strive for this amount in a specific time frame.

27 If one of our goals is to… Protect Existing Upland, Wetland, Riparian, and Aquatic Habitats

28 Action Who is responsible (landowner, LGU, Agency, NGO)Primary priority/target areas Acquisition by public ownership DNR, USFWS, County, Municipality At and adjacent to areas of High Biodiversity Significance, prairie plan core, low CPI, high priority natural channel reaches Acquisition by fee by NGONGO's (e.g. TNC acquisitions) At and adjacent to areas of High Biodiversity Significance, prairie plan core, low CPI, high priority natural channel reaches Private land temporary easement NRCS, SWCD, NGO At and adjacent to areas of High Biodiversity Significance, prairie plan core, low CPI, high priority natural channel reaches Private land permanent easement NRCS, SWCD, NGO At and adjacent to areas of High Biodiversity Significance, prairie plan core, low CPI, high priority natural channel reaches Voluntary measures

29 Action Who is responsible (landowner, LGU, Agency, NGO) Primary priority/target areas Shoreland ordinanceDNR, County, Municipality 50 foot buffer areas public waters, protective overlay districts of sensitive areas Floodplain ordinanceDNR, County, Municipality Public water works permittingDNR Existing public waters Wetland Conserv. ActDNR, County, BWSR 404 permittingUSACE Land Use ZoningCounty Storm water permittingMunicipality, WD Municipalities Soil Loss OrdinanceCounty Areas with high sediment loading Regulatory measures

30 Sample objectives Permanently protect at least 30% of lands currently enrolled in the conservation reserve program (CRP) within high priority areas for wildlife habitat and flood damage reduction. Permanently protect at least 30% of lands currently enrolled in the conservation reserve program (CRP) within high priority areas for wildlife habitat and flood damage reduction. Permanently protect 100% of the lands currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) within the highest priority areas for stream channel protection and restoration. Permanently protect 100% of the lands currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) within the highest priority areas for stream channel protection and restoration.

31 If our goal is to… Improve conditions of Natural, Altered, and Artificial Watercourses and Riparian Habitats

32 Action Responsibility (landowner, LGU, Agency, NGO) Primary priority/target areas Natural and Altered Watercourses Establish functional riparian areas Landowners, easement holders, agencies Priority watercourse reaches for improved stability. Near-channel areas ranked high for SPI. Install side water inlets and other approriate drainage BMPs Landowners, NRCS, SWCD Priority watercourse reaches for improved stability. Near-channel areas ranked high for SPI. Install effective grade controlLandowners, NRCS, SWCD Priority watercourse reaches for grade control. Install effective bank erosion control Landowners, NRCS, SWCD, DNR Priority watercourse reaches for bank erosion control. Drainage water Best Management Practices Landowners, NRCS, SWCD Watershed areas above priority watercourses for improved stability. Install/replace culverts and bridges to promote channel stability WD, County, road authorities Priority watercourse reaches for improved stability Remove or modify barriers to fish passage WD, County, road authorities, DNR, barrier owners Priority watercourses for fish passage improvement Implement actions that will improve hydrologic conditions (see hydrology goal/actions table) Watershed areas above priority watercourses for improved stability.

33 Sample objective Public waters Public waters Achieve compliance with existing shoreland buffer requirements.

34 Legal Ditch Systems Legal Ditch Systems Achieve compliance with existing ditch buffer requirements. Identify, assess, and prioritize the needs of legal ditch systems for side inlets and other erosion control BMPs. Sample objectives continued

35 Watershed-Based Natural Resource Plan Contents 1. Intro./Planning Team/ Overview – 1 page 2. Planning Area Description – 2 pages go to appendix 3. Review of Other Plans – ½ page go to appendix 4. Problem Identification – 1 page 5. Goals and Objectives (watershed and area specific) Upland and Wetland Habitats – 2 pages Upland and Wetland Habitats – 2 pages Streams and Watercourse – 3 pages Streams and Watercourse – 3 pages Roles Table – 13 pages Roles Table – 13 pages 6. Appendices - 50 pages

36 This approach… Covers all the bases in terms of setting goals and objectives to improve watershed health down to a fine scale. Covers all the bases in terms of setting goals and objectives to improve watershed health down to a fine scale. Puts emphasis on identifying, prioritizing, and targeting high priority areas for various actions within a watershed. Puts emphasis on identifying, prioritizing, and targeting high priority areas for various actions within a watershed.

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38 How to prioritize WHERE the actions should be implemented. GIS-LiDAR Local knowledge

39 Priority Areas for Wetland and Grassland Restoration

40 Priority Areas to Reduce Sediment Loading

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42 Where are priority areas for field and watercourse BMP’s?

43 The priority areas for field and watercourse BMP’s arre here

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45 Final step - implementation GIS LiDAR

46 Becker County Example Buffalo-Red River Shallow Lakes Restoration Project 9 Lakes listed for Excess Nutrients (P)

47 Mean Soil Loss Per Catchment

48 Mean Soil Loss Per Catchment With Surface Water Connectivity

49 157 Landowners in contributing area of “Shoreland” Zones 104 Farm Tracts

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51 Hay Creek / Shallow Lakes Accomplishments 114 Water & Sediment Control Basins 2 Grade Stabilization Structures 3 RIM WRP Easements 3 additional wetland restorations 140 Acres Filter Strips 259 Acres Additional CRP

52 Conclusions 1. The watershed level is a great scale to integrate existing information and develop goals and objectives to improve watershed health. 2. Don’t overcomplicate NR planning. More than enough background information and data are already available to make good decisions. Use an approach that moves the discussion to where and what types of actions are needed. Always keep in mind - How do we best get to implementation?

53 Henry Van Offelen Red River Basin Coordinator


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