This project is a cooperative effort between Crow Wing and Itasca County to contract with RMB Laboratories to generate 65 lake assessment/trend analysis reports. The watershed protection model is an innovative and proactive approach to water resource management which is geared towards prioritizing areas of concern, targeting implementation strategies, and measuring their effectiveness. These assessments are also useful and understandable tools for lake associations and the public.
Itasca County is about to begin their water plan update process, which will be finished in 2017. This plan will be watershed protection oriented following a similar format to what Crow Wing County has done. We are currently in the process of have lake screening reports completed for 38 Itasca County lakes, and we would like to continue this program to add reports for an additional 34 lakes.
A new GIS technician will help prioritize and target conservation activities and protection strategies in nine north-central Minnesota counties. The GIS technician will create GIS products, assessments, and watershed analysis to identify the high priority areas in each County or watershed in need of protection or restoration using all available data, including LiDAR, soils, land use, completed WRAPS and other datasets. These areas will then be targeted for future resource management efforts, Clean Water Fund projects, and additional conservation activities.