2010 WINNEBAGO COUNTY LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT ANNUAL REPORT

Highlights of the 2010 Annual Report:

 

Download a .PDF of the 2010 Annual Report

 

WINNEBAGO COUNTY 2011-2020 LAND AND WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN COMPLETED AND APPROVED

On December 17, 2010, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Randy Romanski signed an order approving the Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Plan culminating a two year plan revision process.  This process included input and discussion from 58 Towns officials, 25 Multi-Agency staff, the Land Conservation Committee, and the Land and Water Conservation Department.The plan identifies current and future resource concerns within Winnebago  County and the programs, methods, funding sources, and conservation practices available to address them.  This approval maintains the county’s eligibility for DATCP funding that provides landowner cost-sharing and departmental staffing resources to support implementation of the plan.This is a milestone accomplishment for the Land and Water Conservation Department and Winnebago County. 

2011 - 2020 Land and Water Resource Management Plan

 

WINNEBAGO COUNTY LWCD AND NRCS ADMINISTER $769,853 IN GRANT FUNDING

By Tom Davies, Director

In 2010, the Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) received $238,541 in state grant funding to cost-share projects and practices for landowners and offset departmental expenses.  The LWCD also carried over $247,647 of state and local cost-share grants from 2009 to be used in 2010 and 2011.  In addition, the LWCD also received a $25,000 award through the Clean Water Action Council to cost-share the installation of water quality improvement practices within the Sawyer Creek Watershed in 2011 and 2012.The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provided additional funding for the installation of Best Management Practices  (BMPs) contracted through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in 2009 and 2010 totaling $258,665.  The CSP contracts will provide an additional $136,649 per year for the next 4 years.These funds, approximately $770,000, are utilized to cost-share and support the installation of BMPs throughout Winnebago County.  Annually grant funds such as these provide a significant and positive economic impact for our local contractors and related businesses.

2010 INSTALLED BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

By Chad Casper, Resource Conservationist and Melanie Leet, Conservation Technician

The Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) has several funding sources used to cost-share conservation work.  The funds help aid landowners with the installation of various Best Management Practices (BMPs).  The LWCD also provides survey, design, and construction supervision to ensure the projects are installed according to design specifications.  Installing these BMPs will reduce the sediment and phosphorus loading to our local waterways.  The installations will provide protection of water quality and groundwater resources in Winnebago County.  In 2010, $63,750 was spent installing structural BMPs. 

TRUAX NO-TILL DRILL RENTAL

By Lynette Hein, Secretary

The Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department’s Truax No-Till Drill may be rented to landowners for the purpose of planting a wide variety of common and specialty seeds.  Landowners make use of the drill for installing seed mixes required by incentive programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), our County Buffer Program, or the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program.

Six landowners rented the drill in 2010 and planted 64.6 acres.  $532.80 in rental fees were collected along with $243.00 for 27 perlite bags sold.  Perlite is used as a soil conditioner and gives a better distribution of fine seeds.

 

WHEN IT RAINS”, STORMWATER MANAGEMENT IN WINNEBAGO COUNTY

By Keith Marquardt, Conservation Technician

 When water from rainfall (or snowmelt) contacts the ground, the water can either soak into the ground or runoff (or evaporate if it is exposed to the atmosphere for a period of time).  As land is developed within our community, the development projects usually increase the amount of water that runs off the landscape.  Parking lots, roads, commercial developments, and homes, all add surfaces to our landscape that increases the amount of water runoff.  In addition, as more water flows across the surface, it picks up more of whatever is on that surface - - this includes soil (the number one pollutant to Wisconsin waterways), bacteria, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste, oils, greases, etc. 

Currently, water that enters the curb and gutter or ditch in front of your house is NOT treated.  Water in the curb or in the ditch goes directly to our streams, rivers, and lakes (see related photo).  The polluted water causes various issues including algae blooms, fish kills, less recreational opportunities, habitat loss, etc.  Not only is clean water a crucial part of the ecosystem, but it’s important to us as humans. The adult human body is comprised of 55-60% water; and we use on average 50 to 80 gallons of water each day around the home.

In order to help protect our water resources, the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors passed a Construction Site Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Ordinance (Ordinance) in September 2003.  The Ordinance allows the Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) to review and approve plans on how developers are addressing the water runoff (and sediment) from their projects.  The Ordinance requires that development projects be designed and constructed to control the rate of stormwater leaving the property and also to improve the quality of the water before leaving the property.  Permits are issued to track each project.  As-builts and construction documentation are also required to document whether the project was completed in accordance with the approved plans; and these records will also be used to verify that the stormwater practices installed at each site are maintained and functioning properly in the future.

In 2010, the LWCD oversaw approximately 25 stormwater management projects in various stages of completion.  In addition to permitting, the LWCD prepared and presented four information and education training events for elected officials (including county committees), Highway Department staff, and the general public (see related article on page 6).

 

EROSION CONTROL

By Brent Jalonen, Construction Site Erosion Control Technician

The Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) oversees the erosion control component of many construction projects such as one or two family homes.  The Construction Site Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Ordinance requires land disturbing projects to install and maintain practices that prevent sediment laden runoff from leaving the construction site.  The LWCD reviews and approves the site plans.  Each construction site receives a minimum of two inspections while the permit is open.  During 2010, the LWCD issued 164 Erosion Control permits, 109 of them were for new home construction.  The LWCD also provides technical assistance and has performed over 30 site visits to assist landowners with various drainage issues throughout the year.

In 2011, the LWCD will continue to work with developersand the public to positively affect water quality in the county.  The goal is to incorporate changes in state rules and technical standards as seamlessly as possible.  In 2011, to add to our information and education efforts, the LWCD will be a participant in the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance (FWWA) Stormwater Conference.  The LWCD will be part of several presentations including field demonstrations of erosion control products.    Information about the conference can be found at  www.fwwa.org.

 

2010 NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PLANNING, AG PERFORMANCE STANDARDS, AND FARMLAND PRESERVATION PROGRAM ANNUAL REPORT

By Jon Bahrke, Agronomist 

Nutrient Management Planning

In 2010, the Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) held two nutrient management farmer training classes.  These two classes had 25 participants.  The classes are very beneficial to local farmers and producers.  Individuals garner a better understanding about writing a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) and a greater appreciation of soil, nutrients, and manure utilized to grow crops.

In 2010, the LWCD received NMPs for 31,386 acres, up from 24,417 acres in 2009.  This is a great improvement as the LWCD plans to keep increasing the number of acres and producers following a NMP.  The LWCD was able to cost-share 797 acres with state funds and 209 acres with county funding in 2010, providing $28,168 to local producers for NMP.

Agricultural (Ag) Performance Standards Update

 In 2010, the LWCD acquired an Ag Performance Standard tracking program.  The State Ag Performance Standards (NR 151) are rules set in place to protect the land and keep the groundwater and surface waters clean.  This program is a tool LWCD will utilize to track landowner compliance with the standards throughout the county.  When doing compliance reviews, the LWCD looks for signs of erosion on agriculture fields, runoff from animal/feed lots, failing manure storage structures, and the need for clean water diversions.  In 2010, 5,641 acres of agricultural land and 11 farm sites were walked/reviewed.

2010 Farmland Preservation Program (FPP)

The Working Lands Initiative, passed in 2009, overhauled a 30 year old Farmland Preservation Law.  Prior to the new legislation, in the tax year 2009, 126 landowners participated in the FPP.  This generated $95,855 of tax credits for Winnebago County.

Under the new FPP, starting in tax year 2010, a significant change to the program requires participants to be in compliance with the State Ag Performance Standards (NR151) as mentioned above.  Participants will then receive a $7.50 per acre income tax credit for meeting the program requirements.  The LWCD staff held and attended many meetings to help the landowners of Winnebago County become more informed about the revised FPP.  The LWCD has identified these participants as Priority Farms when providing assistance to achieve compliance with the State Ag Performance Standards.  These substantial changes are a just reward for meeting the new requirements and making a cleaner, healthier Winnebago County.

PRIORITY WATERSHED PROGRAM

By Melanie Leet, Conservation Technician

The end of 2010  marked the conclusion of the Priority Watershed Program in Winnebago County.  The Priority Watershed Program began in 1992 when the Arrowhead/Rat River/Daggots Creek (ARD) Watershed was accepted as a Priority Watershed.  This designation opened the door for staff and project funding for protecting those particular water resources.  In 1997 the Pine River/Willow Creek (PWR) Watershed along with the Fond du Lac River/Winnebago West Watershed (FDL) were accepted as Priority Watersheds.  Since the ARD, PWR, and FDL Watersheds are primarily agriculture, funding was mainly directed at reducing phosphorus and sediment loading by reducing runoff from barnyards and farmland and protection of the shorelines and streambanks. Throughout the watershed projects, the Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) has made great strides in reducing phosphorus and sediment loadings to the water resources through a wide variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs).  The ARD Watershed concluded in 2004 followed by the  PWR and FDL Watersheds ending in 2010.  Throughout the course of the PWR and FDL Watersheds, the LWCD allocated $1,034,546 towards the following BMPs: high residue management; shoreline and streambank protection and buffers; barnyard runoff control systems; manure storage; manure storage abandonment; grassed waterways; nutrient management planning; and well abandonments.  Although, the Priority Watershed Program has come to an end the LWCD will continue to work with the landowners in those areas to protect the natural resources.

 

TREE SALE

By Lynette Hein, Secretary

The Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) annually distributes trees and shrubs through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Tree Program.  The trees come from Griffith Nursery in Wisconsin Rapids and  arrive in mid to late April.  Landowners may purchase the trees and shrubs for installing riparian buffers, creating a wildlife enhancement area, or for tree production.  Often it is part of an incentive program which may include the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), or Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law (MFL).

In 2010, 42,000 trees and shrubs were planted by landowners in Winnebago County, 3,900 trees were distributed to schools for handing out to students as part of their Arbor Day Program and 21,200 trees and shrubs were planted by landowners outside of Winnebago County.

The LWCD assists with the shipping and distribution of the trees and also offers many materials and tools for the landowners to ensure healthy tree growth.  In 2010, the department sold 134 bags of root gel, 900 fertilizer tablets, 250 4 ft. tree shelters and 4 tree planting bars.  Another service the  LWCD offers is the rental of four tree planters to help plant large tree/shrub amounts for a minimal charge.  In 2010, 11 landowners took advantage of this service and planted 34,100 trees.  A “Tree Planting Workshop” held prior to tree delivery offers demonstrations on how to plant the trees with either the larger pull behind units or with a tree planter bar.  Six landowners took advantage of this training opportunity in 2010.  All materials and equipment listed above are available year round for purchase and rental.

The LWCD/WDNR tree sale works well in combination with many different conservation programs.  It offers an easy way for landowners to get trees/shrubs and access to the tools needed to get the trees/shrubs planted and off to a healthier start.

WILDLIFE DAMAGE ABATEMENT AND CLAIMS PROGRAM (WDACP) AND DEER DONATION PROGRAM

By Tom Davies, Director

Wisconsin has a program that assists farmers when wildlife damage their agricultural crops.  The Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program (WDACP) provides damage prevention assistance and partial compensation to farmers when wild deer, bear, geese, and turkeys damage their agricultural crops.  There is also assistance for people experiencing nuisance wildlife problems (particularly in urban and suburban areas).

The current WDACP was created in 1983 by the legislature, in response to concerns from the agricultural community and with input from farmers, hunters, landowners, and wildlife damage specialists.Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) administers the WDACP to provide assistance to local landowners.  Currently 70 of the 72 counties in Wisconsin participate in the WDACP.

The WDACP is funded by a $2 surcharge on hunting licenses, and the sale of unit specific antlerless deer carcass tags valid in "Regular" deer management units ($12 each for resident and $20 each for nonresidents).  Revenues from the sale of unit specific antlerless deer carcass tags can only be spent for county WDACP expenses (administration, damage prevention, and damage compensation).  The WDNR cannot spend unit specific antlerless permit revenues for other management purposes.  The LWCD works with USDA Wildlife Services to provide participants abatement and claim services.  In 2010 Winnebago County had thirteen WDACP participants, of which seven had paid claims.  The claims paid for 2010 totaled $21,238.54.  All costs of administration incurred by the County are fully reimbursed by the WDNR.

Deer Donation Program

The Deer Donation Program was initiated in 2000 to provide deer management and a source of meat protein for local food pantries and charitable organizations.  In 2010 Winnebago County hunters donated 36 deer, generating 681 pounds of ground venison for local food pantries.  Local processing revenue was $55.00 per deer totaling $1,980.00.

Since the program began in 2000, local hunters have donated 1025 deer, providing 46,125 pounds of ground venison for local food pantries and $51,430 in local processing revenue.  Statewide hunters have donated over 73,000 deer which were processed into over 3.3 million pounds of ground venison.

 

INFORMATION AND EDUCATION ACTIVITIES

INFORMATION AND EDUCATION ACTIVITIESBy Chad Casper, Resource Conservationist and Melanie Leet, Conservation TechnicianThe Conservation Field Days Event demonstrates to 4th grade students how resources influence the environment of a community and what people can do to help improve and conserve natural resources.  The event is held at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Rat River Wildlife Area and Lydell Pethke Farm in the Town of Winchester.  Approximately 250 students from the Neenah Public/Parochial Schools and Menasha Parochial Schools attended in 2010.  In the past 32 years, more than 16,000 children have had hands-on instruction learning about wildlife, forestry, soils, and water quality.  Groups of approximately 25 students spend 20 minutes at each station learning about conservation.  Staff from Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD), UW-Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Wisconsin DNR provide the instruction.

The LWCD also coordinates an educational tour for Fox Valley Technical College students in the spring and fall of each year.  The purpose of the tour is to present students various projects the LWCD has installed within Winnebago County.  This exposure, in conjunction with other educational tours from different agencies, helps students focus their studies and provides them with guidance on course selection.

The LWCD also provided a presentation at the Wisconsin Association of Lakes Conference and provided an educational Shoreland Buffer Tour  on the importance of buffers adjacent to shorelines and lakeshores for the League of Women Voters.  The department also provided many displays for different events throughout the year.  Displays were setup at the Winnebago County Fair, Autumnfest, Career Day (involving middle school kids from the Oshkosh area), WPS Farm Show, Wild Ones Conference, Winnebago Lakes Council Conference, and various other events.  This is an excellent opportunity for the LWCD to provide information to individuals throughout Winnebago County.

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Land And Water Conservation

625 E County Road Y
Suite 100
Oshkosh, WI 54901-8131
Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm
Oshkosh:(920) 232-1950
Neenah:(920) 727-8642
Fax:(920) 424-1277