||The Mission of the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District is to promote, guide, and provide technical assistance for conservation of land and water through project implementation.
Dorrich Dairy Named 2015 Outstanding Conservationist for Pope County & Area Finalist for state Award
Dorrich Dairy is Finalist for 2015 Outstanding Conservationist
The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) has named Dorrich Dairy, Glenwood, Minnesota as one of eight Area Finalists in the 2015 Outstanding Conservationist Award Program. Dorrich Dairy will be recognized at a Dec. 8 luncheon at MASWCD’s 79th annual convention in Bloomington. The awards programrecognizes farm families, individuals, conservation organizations, and other groups for their accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources.
Of the eight finalists, one will be announced as the State’s Outstanding Conservationist of the Year at the Dec. 8 luncheon.
“We’re proud of Dorrich Dairy and the Vold Family for what they’ve done in conserving the natural resources in our area,” said Tom Talle supervisor of the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District, which nominated Dorrich Dairy and the Vold Family for the award. “It’s great to be able to recognize the work they’ve done locally. They’ve provided a wonderful example for us by implementing buffers, no-till, pest and nutrient management, wildlife practices, water reuse, cover crops, and much more,” he said. They are also very active in the community and provide education an outreach to the community to share their expertise about agriculture. Dorrich Dairy was also just recently recognized as the first operation certified in Pope County through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Ag Certainty program.
MASWCD sponsors the Outstanding Conservationist Award Program, with support from The Farmer magazine.
Intern Hired to Help Control Invasive Weeds
Jessica Oldakowski, a 2014 Biology graduate from the University of Minnesota, Morris was recently hired as the Cooperative Weed Management (CWMA) Intern for the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District. She grew up on a dairy farm north of St. Cloud Minnesota and has remained interested in agriculture and the outdoors. Over the last couple of years Jessica was employed with the USDA Soil Lab in Morris working on a Pollination Project. At Ag Reliant Genetics, she was a harvest intern and assisted in corn production line work. She enjoys working with plants, animals, and oilseed crops. A few of her hobbies include being outdoors, hunting, fishing, crafts, and playing tennis.
Jessica will continue the work under the Cooperative Weed Management program including education, documentation of infested sites, treatments, and re-seeding with local native seed. Our main goal with this program is to reduce the environmental and economic threats posed by invasive plant species in the grasslands of Pope and Swift Counties. Education and raising awareness of the significance of these threats is key to achieving our goal.
The CWMA partners are: MnDot, Pope County Highway Department, Pope County Land and Resource Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, University of Minnesota Extension Service, and the Pope and Swift Soil and water Conservation Districts. These partners have established a steering committee and are working together to make this program a success. For more information or to report an infestation contact the CWMA intern Jessica Oldakowski at Jessica.email@example.com or call 320-634-7793.
MN Walk In Access Program
Pope County landowners have an additional way to earn income off their land this spring by enrolling into the Walk In Access Program (WIA). The primary objective of the Walk In Access Program is to provide new hunting opportunities on private lands currently enrolled in conservation programs with quality wildlife habitat, such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM), and the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). Other natural lands may also be eligible for enrollment if high-quality habitat exists.
In 2014, Minnesota had 20,708 acres enrolled into the Walk In Access Program and Pope County had 10 sites totaling 555 acres. Once enrolled, the land is open to public hunting access during any open hunting season, including spring turkey. The location of areas enrolled will be publicized in an annual book and posted on the DNR website. Bright yellow-green signs will be installed along WIA boundaries once land is enrolled. WIA land is for hunting only. There is no target practice, trapping, dog training, camping, horseback riding, driving, or fires allowed on the property. Landowners are protected from liability, unlike private leases. Trespassing and hunting violations will be dealt with by DNR Conservation Officers.
Eligible sites must meet the minimum size of 40 acres. Acreage smaller than 40 acres may enroll if the land is contiguous with a Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA), or another WIA resulting in at least 40 contiguous acres open to public hunting. Landowners sign into a one year or multi-year contract, with the ability to cancel the contract at any time without penalty.
Payment rates for signing up with the WIA program include:
So if you have land in CRP, RIM, WRP, CREP, or any other conservation program and would be interested in earning extra money off of it please contact Britta Haseman with the Pope Soil & Water Conservation District. You can stop by our office at 1680 Franklin St N in Glenwood or call us at 320-634-5327. We would be happy to answer any questions and assist with enrollment of your land. For more information, you can also visit www.mndnr.gov/walkin. Deadline for enrollment is June 1st, 2015.
- $10/acre base payment
- $1/ac. incentive payment if area is more than 140 acres
- $1/ac. incentive payment if land is located within a half-mile of other public hunting (WMA/WPA)
- $1/ac. incentive payment for a multi-year agreement.
Environmental improvements are adding up in Pope County due to Legacy funding Glenwood, Minn.— Nearly 15 environmental projects have been funded in Pope County on behalf of an application written by the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District thanks to the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment – and the improvements will start to add up. The Pope SWCD received notice in late January that they would be receiving $126,900 in funding. This funding will help address some of the erosion concerns that were a result of a storm event from June 2013. Projects that will be eligible for the cost share assistance will include: grade stabilization and water and sediment control basins. If you are interested in these types of practices and have erosion issues, contact Pope SWCD staff.
Through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ (BWSR) Clean Water Fund grant program, nearly $60 million has been invested in “on-the-ground” projects, where citizens and local governments are installing conservation practices to improve the quality in our lakes, rivers, wetlands and groundwater.
Holly Kovarik, District Manager said investments made through these grant programs are noticeably improving Pope County lakes and rivers. These projects will be implemented in the next two years.
“Because of the Legacy funding, we’ve been able to complete more conservation projects than ever before. The lakes and rivers in Pope County are being cleaned up or protected and the funding is creating jobs and improving property values. It’s a win-win situation,” Kovarik said.
County Comprehensive Water Plan Approved
The Pope County Comprehensive Water Plan was recently approved by the Board of Water and Soil Resources. This is the plan that will guide the next five years of project and program implementation by local agencies in Pope County. A full copy of the plan is available here…