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Red River Basin Initiative Moves Forward in 2013

                                                                         News Feature                                                           3/1/2013

Red River Basin Initiative Moves Forward in 2013

On February 27, 2013 close to 40 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) employees met for a joint Red River Valley District Conservationist (DC)meeting in Fargo, North Dakota.  At the suggestion of North Dakota State Conservationist, Mary Podoll, the DCs in the Red River Valley three-state region have been meeting to discuss natural resource issues of concern for the Red River Valley.

The Red River basin is located in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota  and has lost a significant amount of its native prairie wetlands from severe flooding.   In Fiscal year 2011, funding for technical and financial assistance was received for the Red River Basin Initiative (RRBI).  The five-year Red River Basin Initiative is expected to reach at least 200 U.S. landowners in the area with objectives of improving wildlife habitat and water quality improvements, as well as flood water retention. 

The February DC meeting covered several issues impacting the three-state RRBI region.  Drainage Water Management and Subsurface Drainage in the Red River Basin; Wetland Compliance Update; RRBI Communication Plan and Outreach along with a technology update regarding GIS Watershed and Conservation Planning Tools.  The topics were timely and pertinent for the conservationists.   Don Baloun, Minnesota NRCS State Conservationist and Mary Podoll, North Dakota State Conservationist were present to field questions and provide leadership direction for the DCs.

For more information and updates about the RRBI, please contact Keith Weston, RRBI Coordinator in Fargo, North Dakota at keith.weston@mn.usda.gov

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