Urgent Message Re: Riparian (Buffer) Aid

In order to receive buffer aid this year (first aid payment available in July 2017 and second in December 2017), county boards will need to formally accept jurisdiction of enforcement requirements of the state buffer law by adopting and sending a resolution to BWSR by June 28!

One of the messages coming from Gov. Mark Dayton and Legislature this session is that they believe the Minnesota Buffer Law will be most successful if administered and enforced at the local level of government.   With this in mind, they appropriated $8 million in FY18 and $10 million in FY19 for Riparian (Buffer) Aid to counties and watershed districts that opt to enforce the Minnesota Buffer Law. 

The buffer aid payments will be sent to counties twice per year at the same time as County Program Aid payments.  The formula for distributing the dollars will be based on class 2a land, miles of public watercourses and miles of public ditch systems in the county.  There is a cap of $200,000 and floor of $50,000 per county.  Dollars will be passed on to watershed districts in your county, for those watershed districts who have assumed jurisdiction.  You may view a preliminary estimate of your county's proportion of the buffer aid distribution here (a watershed district’s share of the funding is included with the counties in this chart).

In order to receive buffer aid this year (first aid payment available in July 2017 and second in December 2017), county boards will need to formally accept jurisdiction of enforcement requirements of the state buffer law by adopting and sending a resolution to BWSR by June 28. Two model resolutions are available on the AMC website to be used as an example or template by counties.  BWSR also has a model resolution on their website

BWSR recently sent a memo with additional information on buffers and you may view it here

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Berquam, AMC Environment & Natural Resources Policy Analyst.