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Minnesota buffer law information released

MOORHEAD—Comments are being accepted on buffer maps produced as the result of a water quality and water protection law passed by the Legislature in 2015 called the Buffer Law.

The law requires landowners to install buffer strips along public waters and public drainage ditches, according to a release from the Clay Soil and Water Conservation District office. Buffer strips are perennial vegetation that help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment.

Public waters include both public waterways and public wetlands, and require a buffer with a 50-foot average width, the release stated. These buffers need to be installed by Nov. 1, 2017. Public drainage ditches require a buffer with a 16.5-foot width and need to be installed by Nov. 1, 2018.

The Department of Natural Resources produced a buffer map of the public waters and public drainage ditches that require these buffers, which was released in July. It is available at www.arcgis.dnr.state.mn.us/gis/buffersviewer. The DNR plans to release two more updated versions of the buffer map in October and January.

For more information, visit the Clay SWCD office at 1615 30th Ave. S. in Moorhead.

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