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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Water Protection > Water Planning Assistance > Targeting BMPs

Targeting of BMPs, Aligning Local Plans and Engaging Agriculture


Why is it important the plan focus on this concern?

Technical, financial and staff resources are becoming more difficult to retain and obtain. As resources are scarce, the targeting of agricultural BMPs and conservation structures to the most vulnerable areas of the landscape is critical. The goal should be to target conservation practices to the areas of the landscape where they will be most effective to meet local and regional water quality and ecosystem goals and objectives.

New tools and technologies are making it possible to target conservation practices to specific areas of the landscape. State agencies are working together to support the development of new technologies and to make them available to local partners through training and online resources. This area of research is developing and more tools such as digital terrain analysis, are made available each year. These resources should be used whenever possible. A multi-faceted approach to implementing BMPs on the landscape is an important component of preserving, conserving, enhancing and sustaining water and natural resources. It is recommended that consideration be given towards further developing and enhancing relations with all local conservation partners to align goals, objectives and outcomes of local plans to meet local water quality goals.

It is recommended that the authors of the local water plan continually review and acknowledge areas of shared concern and opportunity between complementary plans and to foster new partnerships. Considerations should be given for further engaging the agricultural sector while developing new plans or updating existing plans. Agricultural producers involved with local TMDL implementation plans, local water management plan advisory committees, NRCS local workgroups and other local committees can provide additional insight into agricultural landscape management.   

What actions are needed?

  • Utilize targeting tools and technologies to locate BMPs and conservation structures using the targeting tools.
  • Consider and implement multifaceted approaches to working with agricultural producers.
  • Further engage local partners on conservation implementation such as NRCS staff, local conservation groups, lake associations, etc.
  • Foster new relationships with the agricultural sector or enhance existing relations. Consider joint meetings of NRCS local work groups and local water management plan advisory committees. 
  • Provide Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program information and encourage participation in the program to access technical and/or financial assistance to County landowners and operators to implement agricultural best management practices on working lands to reduce soil erosion, protect stream banks and improve water resources.

What resources may be available to accomplish the actions?

Agricultural producers are key stakeholders in working with local, state and federal agencies on implementing positive changes within the agricultural landscape. The Clean Water Fund Activities website was developed to encourage producers to become involved at the local level with impaired waters issues.

The Minnesota Conservation Funding Guide provides more detailed information about funding opportunities. This guide complements, but does not replace the customized local expertise available via SWCDs and other local units of government to landowners throughout Minnesota. The guide provides contact information for Minnesota's 90 local SWCDs and other organizations that help landowners plan and implement conservation.

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center may be able to provide additional expertise on engaging agricultural producers in your county.

What area(s) of the county is high priority?

All areas of the county.