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March 15 Session To Gather Public Input On Nitrate Removal Wetlands

By Staff | Mar 10, 2011

The Palo Alto County Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting a public session at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, to gather input and share information on nitrate removal wetlands, the mitigation ratio for draining farmed wetlands and the impact on wildlife habitat. The meeting will be held at the Iowa Lakes Community College Auditorium in Emmetsburg.

Nitrate removal wetlands are strategically designed and located to remove nitrate from tile drainage water in cropland areas. These wetlands can be placed in many counties throughout the tile-drained region of north-central Iowa.

In addition to improving water quality and providing wildlife habitat, some producers and drainage districts perceive nitrate-removal wetlands as an opportunity to drain a farmed wetland through a mitigation or trade. This would assist producers increase the cropped acres in their operation.

As the agency responsible for wetland compliance issues, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking public input for the mitigation ratio allowing the drainage of farmed wetlands when installing a nitrate removal wetland.

Representatives from NRCS and the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s Division of Soil Conservation will attend the session to provide information and listen to public input.

Oral comments will be limited to five minutes.

Written comments may be submitted to Richard Sims, State Conservationist for Iowa NRCS.

Send them to rich.sims@ia.usda.gov or 693 Neal Smith Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309.