North Cannon River Watershed Management Plan

The North Cannon River Watershed is a predominantly agricultural area and home to multiple valuable water resources. According to a press release from October 26th, every 10 years, the North Cannon River Watershed Management Organization (WMO) is required to update their Watershed Management Plan (WMP). Goals and components of the existing WMP range from meeting water-quality standards and improving wetland protection to reducing soil erosion and flooding. Focused on addressing high priority water quality issues, the WMP targets watershed areas with high nutrients and sediment due to altered hydrology. An important component of the WMP update is to facilitate a process for public, local stakeholder, technical advisory, citizen advisory, and WMP Board engagement. “Updating the watershed management plan is a multi-step process, with public input at the core,” states Watershed Management Organization Administrator, Ashley Gallagher, “We have worked diligently through the initial steps of plan development and a gaps analysis. We are now prepared for stakeholder engagement to foster feedback and ensure all voices are heard.” The WMO will gather input at a live open house event and through a virtual open house format to solicit online feedback. The in-person open house is set for Wednesday, November 10th from 4:00-6:00 P.M. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center (4100 220th Street W. Farmington, MN 55024). Participants are invited to sto in anytime during the two hour window and will move through a series of stations focused on watershed-related issues with opportunities for feedback regarding priorities. Those in attendance will be asked to complete a survey at their own pace. The virtual open house includes all the same information and survey feedback opportunities with the added convenience of participating remotely. The virtual open house will be open from October 26th, 2021 to November 19th, 2021 and can be accessed by visiting the following site: Information gathered will be integrated and developed into a draft of prioritized issues reflecting stakeholder feedback. Goals, strategies, and policies will then be developed for the prioritized issues before the draft plan is updated. A complete draft of the updated WMP will go through a rigorous, formal review and approval process, including public hearings. Following the public review process, the final WMP is scheduled for approval in spring 2023. “We are excited to learn from and gain input from those who are invested in the watershed. Working toward achieving wetland protection and restoration will be a key component to achieving overall water quality goals with the updated WMP,” states Gallagher.

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