Emergency haying, grazing authorized for RIM acres in Douglas CountyThe Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced last week it will authorize emergency haying and grazing of Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) acres for seventy counties, including Douglas County, affected by drought conditions.
The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced last week it will authorize emergency haying and grazing of Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) acres for seventy counties, including Douglas County, affected by drought conditions.
“We want to be responsive to landowners’ needs in these extreme weather conditions,” John Jaschke, BWSR Executive Director said. “In order to address those short-term needs, we’ve developed a policy that will protect the public’s investment and preserve wildlife habitats on these lands.”
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 gazing 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, 2012 to protect ground nesting wildlife.
• Haying/grazing grasses should be harvested no shorter than 6" in height to ensure regrowth.
If you are an interested landowner, please contact your local SWCD. In Douglas County, the phone number is (320) 763-3191.