Editor’s note: The following Osakis Voices column was provided by the Sauk River Watershed District.

The Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) is excited to be in the final steps of approval for our 10-year comprehensive management plan (a 10-year planning document for projects, programs, etc.).

The plan that is currently under review is a partnership effort of the Sauk River Watershed District; Stearns, Todd, Douglas and Pope Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) and counties, along with a wide range of state agencies and conservation organizations, participating in a process called One Watershed One Plan.

The One Watershed One Plan process has allowed the nine local agencies (SRWD, Stearns, Todd, Douglas and Pope SWCDs and counties) to come together to develop one planning document to use as partners, with input from other agencies, organizations, and the general public.

One particularly exciting item that was developed through this planning process is the Project Team Framework, which will be used when developing large-scale, or Capital Improvement Projects, to help bring landowners, agencies, and interested organizations together to go through the project concept development and implementation phases together.

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The SRWD is currently initiating the use of the Project Team Framework in the Getchell Creek / County Ditch 26 area near Freeport to identify potential water storage and water quality improvement projects, determine if they are able to be realistically completed, and explore funding opportunities for completing the work.

These efforts are a result of concerns received about sloughing banks, flooding lands adjacent to Getchell Creek/CD26, and drainage system assessments for CD26. The SRWD was able to obtain permission to utilize existing grant funds to cover the exploratory work to determine which projects are realistic for this area and will achieve the desired water storage and water quality results. Once projects concepts have been approved, the SRWD and the Project Team will pursue funding for project installation.

The draft comprehensive management plan is available on the SRWD website: www.srwdmn.org

Project Team updates on the Getchell Creek/CD26 area will be provided through our email mailing lists (list serves). Please sign up to receive updates by visiting our website at www.srwdmn.org

As always, if you have any questions or comments, the SRWD can be reached by phone at 320-352-2231 or by email at srwd@srwdmn.org.