Wisconsin's 2012 Annual Land and Water Conservation Report is now available online, featuring conservation success stories from around the state, and detailing work done by state and federal agencies with local governments and landowners to keep the state's soil in place and waters clean.
The report is at http://datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Environment/pdf/LandWaterAnnualReport2012.pdf. It was presented to the Land and Water Conservation Board at the group's regular December meeting.
Conservation efforts in Wisconsin are a cooperative effort involving the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. The report includes tables listing the many projects undertaken by the agencies along with county conservation departments and landowners.
This year for the first time it also features success stories, focusing on individual projects that protected the state's waters and soil, and in some cases also fostered economic development. These stories include:
✔ Waupaca County — The Egan Dairy Farm in the Town of Lebanon has a history dating to the early 1990s of working with the Waupaca County Land Water Conservation Department. A number of projects prepared the farm to expand, resulting in increased hiring of farm workers and professional consultants, as well as protecting the nearby Wolf River and the tourism it draws.
✔ Marathon County — Graziers Joe and Christy Tomandl have worked with Marathon and Taylor county conservation offices to revitalize small farms, gradually converting them to pasture, which restores the soil and fosters wildlife. In the process, they created a new model for expansion, starting up several small farms rather than expanding to one large one.
✔ Iron County — The Town of Mercer partnered with the Mercer Lake Association, the Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop untreated water from running off paved surfaces in developed areas into Mercer Lake and Grand Portage Lake. The project also improved Highway 51, added a bike path, and beautified downtown Mercer — all contributing to the area's tourism economy.
✔ Pierce County — Dairy farmer Carl Hendrickson teamed up with the Pierce County Land Conservation Department to add a manure storage facility that allowed him to suspend manure spreading in winter and protect the Trimbelle River from runoff. His project benefitted a downstream project where the DNR and Trout Unlimited were working to improve fishing in the river.
In addition to these full-length stories, the report includes briefs about projects in, Buffalo, Clark, Jackson, and Marathon, Trempealeau, Waupaca, Vernon and Washington counties.