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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
March 12, 2002     The Ortonville Independent
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March 12, 2002

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2001 nnual Report lstone SWCD 2001 Beautiful Farmstead Award Witmers are Larson of rural Correll. Pictured above is the Lmson the left: Meflyn and Nan,-. holding Stone, front row:. Chet. r Jordan_ back: Brian. holding Lexi Jo and wife Jodi, Doug and :W and Ran. and ,e Sashva holding Call Jo. Beautiful Farmstead Award Beautiful Farmstead Aard is given by the Soil and Water District each year to one family farm in Big Stone County. of the award are Merlyn and Nancy Larson of rural on whicll Merlyn and Nancy reside has been in the 1918 when Merlvn s gramifaflu Michael Larson purchased acre site v, as pas down to Medyn s parents, Melvin and '1949. IVlerlvn started farming in 1961. and  Nat)cy m are located on the farm site aim ,or a ume both families .211m  as built. The). hope the farm Jll always be kept in the L arson's rent most of the 3( acres that the farm. Their of,=. and .ome n00-y [ to finish hog operation. The operation was expanded i. .an.her from 1200 to 1500 hogs and acconms for the farm site. Merlyn feels that plenty of gravel is tim/; to :11])e Larson s have three boys; Dong, Randy and Brian. All arc !,2 chil.d_ each of their own. Doug srted fanning with m owns ". DIIL  tak. cs up most of my time." Nancy agr Most of her time gu  hog operation and helping with the gramidtildr  auox she does a little gardening. [ae Big Stone SWCD Supervisors and staff would like to _the Larsons on receiving the B Famlstead Award. :j'e an aerial photo of their farmstead. We would also like to jvt, v(lunteers who judged this award for us. If anyone would ea farm site for this aard please contact our office. : Soil Stewardship rfLffe" Soil was the 2001 theme for the April 29  - May 6 m Stewardship Week. in celebration of this event, the 'ided free infonmtion (sermon info, activity etc-) to area  in Big Stone Coumy. Nine dmrc in2001. The 2002 theme is Tl Gifl of Tns ". been sent to area . 00LIFE 2001 Conservation Awards The SWCD presents several conservation awards throughom the year. Below is a listing of these awards. " Conservation/'armer-Sport.*man Award- Gerald and Marilee Haukos of rural Correll. They received a framed print from Delton Silberstein, sponsor of the award, a Certificate of Achievement from The Farmer magazJne and an m4tation to attend the MN Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts state convention with all expenses paid. Beautiful Farmstead Award - Merlyn and Nancy Larson of rural Con'ell. They received an aerial photo of their , 4-H Individual Conservation Award- Rudy Smart of the Blrdsley C,o-Cers received the SWCD's traveling trophy. 4-H Club Conservation Award - The Beardsley Go-getters received the SWCD's traveling trophy. } Conservation Camp Scholarshtp- No Applicants " Poster, Essay, and Mural Contest - "Commumty Waters" was the 2001 flmm. Both C-G-B and James Knoll Elememary participated in this contest for 5 ' and 6  grade students. County winn were as follows: Poster -Patrict Ensce, James Knoll Elem., Mural - Ashley Waiters and Dayla Vogt, C-G-B, Essay - Brandon Cardwell, C-G-B. Branden also received first place at the area level for his essay. >, Arbor Day - each 4* grade student in Big Stone County received an ash tree to plant >, Environmental Fair - The SWCD paid for a chartered bus to transport 6 th grade students from James Knoll Elem to ll SWCD's Environmental Fair held in Marshall. Two thousand four hundred stnderds from a fourteen county area attended the fair. Moonshine Lakebed Project The Moonshine Lakebed is an approximately 650 acre drained basin located in sections 29, 30 and 31 of Moonshine Township in Big Stone County.. The basin is located about 5 miles upstream of East Toqua Lake and the Cit. of Graceville  lake was drained for agricultural pmlm m the early 1900's by tl:on of county ditch #$. Because the Oty of GracevRk has  flooding problems in 1997 and again in 2001, the Boise de Sioux Watehed  began exploring the possibility of using the Moonshine basin as a flood control project. A team was formed consisting of agency personnel township and county officials, private citizens, and Boise de Sioux Watershed dirrs. The project team is currenlly setting goals and objectives that they would like to see reached if the basra is restored. Some of the goals of the project include: retaining flood water to aid the City of Graceviile. Improve the quality of water that enters East Toqua Lake. Improve wildlife habitat by optimizing the pool level and establishing sufficient upland buffer with adequate upland cover. Provide for northern pike spawning in the basin by designing a fish passage in the outlet struclure. If these goals are met, a wide tan of bcndits could be realized,. Benefits such as reduced flooding for , increased tcremional opportumties on Toqua Lake, reduced lakshor erosion on Toqua Lake, additional hunting oppommities in the Moonshine area, and a reduction in downstream erosion and road relmir. The project team has many issues that will need to be addrmsed before any type of restoration can take place. Funding is always the main issue on projects of this size. Currently, the group is waiting for land appraisals to be completed so a concrete project cost can be determimd. There are many sources of funding available, however, few if any, can fund the entire project. A combination of sources will probably need to be utilized for tbe completion of the . This c the funding issue futtlmr because santo sourc of dollars can not be matched with otber sonrces. Some of tbe otlw.r isme$ and camtin the project team is facing include the elevation at which to hold the water, raising Cotutty Rd #71 and Township Rd #91, upland conservation treatment, Wolmle wildlife on of crops, effect on the tax base, and most  keeping the landowners of tbe basin infmmcd and It is aa xiting time for the Moonshine aa- Providing all the compomnts of the woject can fall in place nearlY and in a  that is acceptable to the lakched owners, this can be a "win-win" situation for all involvi, the poople, the wildlife and 1he soil and wat . Rainfall Monitoring There are six sites in Big Stone County used to )morn tin. lcipimtion, hfformation is galgted daily by volunteers al corded on climatology forms that are routed through the SWCD to the state  monllfly. The infornmtion gatlred is a useful "tool" that tnr offices consider when looking at soil conditions. We thank our volunteers for their efforts and are always looking for mo volunteers to belp fill in the"gaps" intbe conmy. Infonnmion, dining back to 1977, can be foand on the  at !!!Ic.elu. Below is a to tmal monthly precipitation be site for 2001. Jan Feb Mar 0.96 1.60 0.53 1.43 1.28 0.42 1.23 2.05 0.56 1.47 1.45 0.65 0.63 1.15 0.92 0.47 Apr ,, Ma June july Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Total e.82 2.70 5.31 3.40 0.64 2.10 0.52 1'81 0.02 26.41 6.14 2.71 6.92 2.96 0.38 2.79 0.76 1.50 0.71 26.00 6.30 2.91 3.99 3.72 1.63 3.16 0.79 2.17 0.05 28.56 6.13 2.40 3.88 2.71 0.50 3.27 0.76 1.g6 0.16 25.36 6.40 2.63. 4.61 3.40 0.42 3.72 0.73 2.03 tr 6.44 3.18 4.85 3.44 1.51 4.29 1.00 0.87 0.15 28.27 Abandoned Well Sealing The Big Stone SWCD administers a well-sealing program for Big Stone County. The program pays 75% up to a maximum limit. Prior approval is needed from the Board of Supervisors in order to utilize the cost-share. Applications can be picked up at the District Office. Wells that are abandoned as a result of drilling a new well are ineligible for cost- share. In 2001 14 well were sealed using the program Trees ate the largest of all living things - some slxes can grow miler than 300 feet and weigh more the 600 tons. Big Stone CounD' had its first Southwest Area MASWCD essay winner in 2(X)l. Pictured is Branden Cardwell from C-G-B schools with his first place Essa 5 Plaque. Pomme de Terre Watershed Project The Pomme de Terre River Association was created in 1981 by local leaders in the six county area where the Pomme de Terre River Watershed lies. They have worked on and off for years to improve the water quality of the Pomm de Terre River Watershed. In 2000, the group received a $50,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control to compile existing water quality data from the watershed into a report, hire a part time coordinator, and to provide public education on water quality within the watershed. The Pomm de Terre River Association plans to collect stremn flows and test water quality for dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphorous, turbidity, temperature, and fecal coliform :it four sites in the watershed next spring and in following years. The data is critical for the in the watershed. They deserve to know how clean their wat is for recreation, drinking, fishing, and other lively hoods. The river and lakes in the watershed provide econormc income for local rural residenls and thereby improving their quality of life. Agriculture is the largest land use in the watershed and many of the landowners are dairy and livestock producers. The organization will work with these landowners and other citizens on a voluntary basis to focus resources in specific areas during project ion with local orgamzatious. The Pomnm de Terrc River Association has in kind conmbutions from the local soil and water conservation districts and the county commissiuners in the six counties where the watershed ties. They have also bren allocated some funds from local water plans. Additional funds are needed to cover the costs of water quality testing and providing public information. Below is a map showing the approximate boundary of the Pomme de Tetre Watershed. r;d,e ! Tail = 128830 e Wheoto ........ SOr.