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BWSR authorizes emergency haying and grazing of RIM acres

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) recently announced that it will authorize emergency haying and grazing of Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) acres for 70 counties, including Douglas County, affected by drought conditions.

Many RIM easements are enrolled jointly with a federal program, such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or Wetland Reserve Program (WRP).

For these joint easements, BWSR will defer to federal guidelines, requiring landowners to comply with federal provisions.

For state RIM easements only, BWSR established the following policy:

--Landowners who are interested in emergency haying and grazing must contact their local soil and water conservation district office (SWCD) to file a plan amendment before haying or grazing RIM acres.

--At least 50 percent of each easement area will remain undisturbed for wildlife.

--Tree plantings, food plots, water control structures, wetland basins and stream banks shall be excluded.

--Where practical, mowing will begin in the center of the area to be harvested and commence inside out to allow wildlife escape routes.

--Haying/grazing will be limited to August 2 - September 30 to protect ground nesting wildlife.

---Haying/grazing grasses should be harvested no shorter than 6" in height to ensure regrowth.

If interested, contact the local SWCD.

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