Protecting, Preserving, and Enhancing the Natural Resources of Columbia County.
MISSION: The conservation of land, water and other natural resources through the implementation of conservation programs; ordinances and regulations; information and education and technical assistance to ensure responsible land use management and preserve the resources for the future.
Technical Assistance: Provide local landowners, managers as well as units of government with technical assistance to find solutions to land and water resource management problems.
Conservation Information/Education: Conduct a variety of conservation educational programs in partnership with other agencies and organizations. Our target audience included everyone from young to old, urban to rural. Our goal is to provide landowners with as much information as possible about reducing water pollution as well as encouraging the protection of our natural resources.
Automation/GIS: Emphasize efficiency and quality for all LWCD services by utilizing computer technology where appropriate. Services currently utilizing this technology include; surveying, drafting, conservation planning, engineering, mapping, aerial photography, word processing, mailings, and publication development. With assistance from the LID Manager we plan to increase our office use and efficiency with the County's GIS system.
Financial assistance: Determine what financial assistance may be available to local landowners, managers, Towns, Villages, Cities, and organizations to help offset the costs of conservation work and assist them in obtaining those funds. Financial assistance can be in the form of tax credits, cost sharing, conservation easements and other incentive payments. Currently the LWCD administers several financial assistance programs.
Regulatory Activities: Administer local ordinances and program compliance requirements. This currently includes the Farmland Preservation Program, Animal Waste Storage Ordinance, and the Implementation of the Water Quality Performance Standards found in NR151.
NR 151: The DNR rule (NR151) sets performance standards for farms to prevent runoff and protect water quality. NR151 also has performance standards to control construction site erosion, manage runoff from new developments and roads, and more precisely use fertilizer on property over 5 acres. Meeting these standards will be challenging for everyone. Many farmers will be entitled to receive cost-sharing if they are required to comply with state standards.
ATCP 50: ATCP 50 - Soil and Water Resource Management Program Rule The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has made substantial changes to the administrative rule ATCP 50 - Soil and Water Resource Management Program. The program is designed to conserve Wisconsin's soil and water resources, reduce soil erosion, prevent nonpoint source pollution and enhance water quality. The new rule on soil and water conservation went into effect on October 1, 2002. This rule is part of a comprehensive redesign of Wisconsin's nonpoint pollution control programs, mandated by the Legislature in 1997. As part of the redesign, we must coordinate our efforts with the Department of Natural Resources. The new DNR rules set performance standards for farms to prevent runoff and protect water quality. The DATCP rule identifies the conservation practices for farmers to follow to meet the DNR standards.
Landowner Project Consultation: Part of the day to day service provided through the LWCD consists of acting as a project consultant. We provide a basic service to all landowners that request all forms of land use related information. We serve as a resource for reference material, maps, soils information and aerial photography. We also provide information about their potential need for various permits through DNR, Corps of Engineers, Planning and Zoning and other local municipalities. This is probably one of the most widely used resources the LWCD has to offer.