Filing Period for SWCD Supervisor May 22 - June 5

Individuals concerned about water quality and soil erosion in Wadena County should consider filing by June 5th to run for the position of Supervisor of the Wadena Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

“Supervisors play an important role in how our community deals with a wide variety of resource management issues, including wetlands, water quality, soil erosion, ground water, and forestry,” noted Darren Newville, District Manager with the Wadena SWCD. “Serving as a supervisor is a terrific opportunity for people who want a voice in how we manage our environment,” he said.

Nancy Benson has served on the Wadena SWCD Board of Supervisors for the past 10 years, and says that it’s one of the best investments of her time. “We can’t make more land, so we have to take care of what we have,” said Benson. “Serving your soil and water conservation district is such a worthwhile task – you gain something, you give back to your community, and you’re working with wonderful people who all care about conservation. If you’re considering running but are unsure, know that there are wonderful leadership workshops and trainings that will help you become a board member who is a true asset to your community.” 

This year, the SWCD has two Supervisor positions up for election. SWCD candidates appear on the ballot for the general election which will take place November 6th, 2018. Candidates are elected county wide but must reside in one of the nomination districts up for election. These include Nominating District I, which includes Aldrich and Thomastown Townships, of which Ken Berg currently serves, Nominating District II, which includes Leaf River and Wadena Townships, of which Brett Dailey currently serves, and Nominating District III, which includes Bullard, Lyon and Wing River Townships, of which Nancy Benson currently serves. SWCD Supervisors serve four-year terms.

Supervisors meet monthly to discuss the business of the SWCD, including state grant allocations to landowners, district conservation priorities, coordination with other local units of government and state agencies, and legislative priorities. Supervisors do not receive a salary, although they do receive compensation for attending meetings and are reimbursed for expenses.

Those interested in running for Supervisor should file at the County Auditor’s office from May 22th through June 5th, 2018.

Soil & Water Stewardship Week:  April 29 - May 5

This is the 63rd annual Soil and Water Stewardship week, which promotes resource conservation across the country.  Each year, over 3,000 conservation districts participate in the event, making Stewardship Week one of the largest national conservation programs in the world.

This year the theme is “Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home” and highlights the importance of caring for one of the most critical resources in the world, water. 

“Soil and Water Conservation Districts are locally led and the staff that lead each district are knowledgeable about resource issues within their communities,” said LeAnn Buck, Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Executive Director.  “They focus on providing soil and water conservation services to private landowners, which is essential because seventy-eight percent of Minnesota’s lands are private.”

2017 Clean Water Fund Grant Received

Every year the Board of Soil and Water Resources (BWSR) provides funding to Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) for projects and practices that will help improve water quality and protect water resources in the state, called the Clean Water Fund (CWF).  This funding is available on a competitive basis every year through the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment, which Minnesota voters passed in 2008.  Grant proposals are written by individual SWCDs, counties, and Watershed Districts for possible projects within the service area of each entity.  

The approved grant will seek to provide cost sharing and incentives for implementing forestry management plans that will be used enrollment in the Sustainable Forestry Incentives Act (SFIA) or tax class 2c managed forestland in the Crow Wing River Watershed.  Both of these enrollments require a minimum of 8-10 years of protection from deforestation.  Forests provide incredible water quality benefits by infiltrating large amounts of rainfall, decreasing runoff, and absorbing nutrients that may be harmful to nearby waterbodies.  Therefore, protection of these forests is crucial because forests preventing nitrate leaching in groundwater, runoff of harmful pollutants into lakes and streams, and providing high quality habitat for wildlife. In addition to assistance writing forestry plans, the SWCD will provide filed training days for common forestry practices, such as tree planting and pruning.