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Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program

Carlton SWCD Coastal Nonpoint Technical Assistance Project

By: Brad Matlack Carlton SWCD Manager June 30, 2008 Project Number 310-04-07 Contract Number B03582

This project was funded in part under the Coastal Zone Management Act, by NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in cooperation with Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program.

Summary The Carlton SWCD provided 314 hours (117 of grant reimbursed time and 197 hours of grant match time) of technical assistance to landowners in the Lake Superior Basin portion of the county through this project. The MN Lake Superior Coastal Program grant funding allowed the SWCD to focus this assistance within the grant period of October 2007 through June 2008 to address this workload in a timely manor. Coastal program funds were used to provide planning and supervisory assistance on all projects; no construction activities were funded by the grant, although the planning/assistance from the SWCD allows for increased implementation of planting/construction projects with outside funds (state Clean Water Legacy grants, State costshare, etc,). Coastal Program funding also helps the SWCD leverage other state funding such as state cost share and Clean Water Legacy Act funds. Together these funds help the SWCD provide the needed technical and financial assistance to implement priority projects within the Lake Superior Basin. Some projects listed in this report would likely not have been accomplished without this funding to focus these technical resources in this area of the county. Often projects take 2 – 3 years to evolve from the planning stage through construction or installation. That is one reason continued MN Lake Superior Coastal Program funding is so critical to the Carlton SWCD. Projects planned under past coastal implementation grants have been installed under this grant. Project priority throughout the planning and implementation stages of conservation work is important to landowner confidence and participation. Assistance provided by the SWCD included planning, contract management, project implementation, and project certification for conservation practices on forest and urban land, and water resources of the county.

Category 2 Forestry General With almost half the land in Carlton County in forest and over half of that in private ownership, forestry issues are important to water quality in the county. The SWCD provided assistance to groups, individuals and small municipalities within the Lake Superior Basin to assist them in planning and preparation for implementing Forestry BMPS. Projects Eight individuals and groups received planning and installation technical assistance for tree establishment and wildlife habitat improvement. Additionally 3 tree planting projects were inspected for compliance totaling 72 acres of tree establishment and 20 acres of timber stand improvement. Riparian Forest Buffers were planned in a targeted watershed with in the Lake Superior Basin. The Midway river has documented temperature and sediment issues. In 2007 the SWCD

received funding for riparian tree establishment efforts in this watershed. 24,407 feet of stream bank totaling 79.3 acres have been planned and as of the end of this grant period 8,235 feet or 7.6 acres have been planted. The Coastal program funds helped in planning this project while a Clean Water Legacy grant was used to provide cost share to landowners. Two cities within the Lake Superior Basin where engaged in urban forestry projects. Coastal funding helped the SWCD provide these cities with technical assistance in planning these projects. The City of Carlton worked with the SWCD, DNR and UMES to plan and implement a tree establishment project in the Munger Trail Park in Carlton. The Carlton SWCD assisted in planting plans, ensuring that only native species were used, and soil/land use conditions were taken into account for tree types. The trees will provide shade in the park, serve to improve energy conservation for residents, and help users of the park relate to forestry on a larger scale in the community. Carlton HS students and other community residents volunteered for the tree planting day. Tree Planting in Carlton City Park HS students (below) City of Carlton staff and community volunteers (right)

The Esko Tree Board has planted 150 disease resistant elms throughout the city of Esko.

Elms planted along a safety trail for students walking from school to athletic fields. Other tree planted around the city (not pictured)

Category 3.1 Urban/Rural Runoff Assistance was provided for review of 1 minor subdivision in the Lake Superior Basin. 4 projects including roadside erosion control and earthen dam repair received planning assistance during this grant period. Two other water quality projects are continuing during this grant period. One feedlot runoff improvement project and one well sealing project are proceeding through the planning process.

Category 5.3 Stream Bank and Shoreline Erosion The SWCD along with its Joint Powers engineering department completed one lakeshore protection project in this grant period. One hundred fifty feet of rock riprap was installed on Chub Lake along with revegetation of disturbed areas. The SWCD provided technical assistance in planning the planting and contract management for financial assistance to the landowner from the SWCD’s state cost share program. Category 6 Wetland, Riparian Areas, and Vegetated Treatment Systems The Carlton SWCD is not the LGU for the States Wetland Conservation Act, and therefore receives only a small amount pass through funding to carry out its responsibilities to the act. However, staff time far exceeds the amount of pass through funding. Coastal Program funding helps supplement pass through and fee for service funding to help the SWCD provide technical assistance to landowners with wetland issues. Assistance was provided to 17 individuals or groups in wetland protection and creating restoration plans. Education Education is an important investment the SWCD makes in Conservation awareness. Although time spent in this category does not lead directly to projects on the ground, changing the public’s attitude towards conservation issues can be key to longer-term conservation benefits. The SWCD worked with several schools in the Lake Superior Basin to provide conservation education materials and learning opportunities for school students. The SWCD also provide education materials to Lake association members on weed growth, use of copper sulfate, and algae control issues. This assistance was provided both individually and in a group meeting.