Watershed Protection

Watershed Protection
Legislative attempt to rollback buffer law passes first hearing

As anticipated, buffers are back in the news as House Republicans are teaming up with a minority of rural Senate DFLers to rollback the buffer law. A pair of bills, authored by representative Torkelson (R) and Senator Skoe (DFL) have been introduced. Senator Skoe's bill has already passed the Senate agriculture committee despite opposition from Senate DFLers on the committee.  

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Perennial biofuels incentive program bills introduced

The legislature has introduced bills in both chambers to advance one of FMR's 2016 policy priorities: a perennial biofuels incentive program. Dubbed the "Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program," the bills ask for $479,000 in fiscal year 2017 for the state's Board of Water and Soil Resources to prepare a plan for creating a state-funded biofuels incentive program.

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Biofuels incentive program: Growing the crops of the future

FMR, in concert with a diverse group of allies, worked to help advance legislation to create a powerful new incentive for farmers to plant perennial crops right here in Minnesota!

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Making the most of the Governor's Water Summit

When over 800 Minnesotans gather in a windowless basement on the first beautiful spring-like day, there must be a compelling reason. In this case the reason was water. Residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes showed up in droves to show their care and concern at the Governor's Water Summit. Among them, of course, were staff from FMR and our fellow water protection colleagues, plus 30 volunteer FMR River Protectors. Together, we made sure our top priorities for clean waters were heard loud and clear. Next up: Turning these basement conversations into noticeable improvements for Minnesotans' waters, communities and wildlife.

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Governor Dayton opening the first ever MN Water Summit
You're invited! Governor's Water Summit Briefing

The Governor's Water Summit is just around the corner. If you're planning to attend, in-person or online, please let us know! (We'd like to invite you to a pre-summit briefing, complete with beer and snacks in downtown St. Paul.)

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Surprise buffer law rollbacks a major disappointment

Bowing to pressure from agribusiness groups and select lawmakers, Gov. Mark Dayton made statewide news with a surprise announcement in late-January: a major portion of the 2015 buffer bill is being rolled back. As a result, hundreds of miles of private ditches will be exempt from buffer requirements and will continue to carry polluted farm runoff into Minnesota's waters. 

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Water running off farm fields carries pollution into the nearest waterways.
The real costs of pumping up White Bear Lake

Recently the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released a much-anticipated report detailing cost estimates for pumping water from the Mississippi River to refill or "augment" shrinking White Bear Lake. The potential price tag?: $107 million, plus up to $4.1 million in annual operating costs. Given this, along with previous analyses casting doubt on such a system's potential effectiveness, FMR opposes any further state investment in such direct augmentation efforts.

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Declining water levels in White Bear Lake have been big news for the northeast metro area for some time.

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Nicollet Island, Minneapolis
New date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific & Natural Area, Inver Grove Heights