Please click here for up-to-date information from the Portage County Public Health Department regarding COVID-19.  Links to Portage County Daily Press Releases and county Health Department Situation Reports can be found in the ‘In The Spotlight’ box below.  If you have general questions regarding COVID-19 call 211.  


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What is cost-sharing? What can it be used for?

Cost sharing is funding assistance to landowners found to be eligible for financial help to install conservation practices. Some common practices are:

  • Diversions - used to protect areas from soil erosion and to keep livestock feedlots dry and minimize potential manure runoff by diverting runoff water around the area.
  • Field windbreaks - used to control soil erosion by reducing wind velocities at the land surface. Refer to the Central Wisconsin Windshed Partnership Group(CWWP) webpage
  • Grade stabilization structures - used to prevent gullies from forming.
  • Riparian buffers - establishing/enhancing vegetation to provide wildlife habitat and reduce sediment, nutrients and pollutants from entering surfacewater.
  • Streambank and shoreline protection - planting vegetation to create wildlife habitat and protect the banks of streams and lakes against erosion.
  • Wetland development or restoration - construction of shallow water areas or destruction of tile line or drainage ditch functions to create or restore wildlife habitat.
  • Manure storage systems - a structure that stores manure, which increases available nutrients for crops and leads to savings on purchased fertilizers. A permit is required for all manure storage systems. The LCD highly recommends a minimum of six months capacity so winter spreading and manure runoff violations can be avoided.
  • Barnyard runoff control system - a concrete barnyard system used to contain manure in areas of concentrated livestock activity, which minimizes potential manure runoff violations.
  • Other practices as listed under Wisconsin Administrative Code, Subchapter VIII ATCP 50.61 through 50.98

When do I need a permit from Land and Water Conservation?

Land and Water Conservation is responsible for issuing County permits for any construction, installation, or substantial alteration of an animal manure storage facility or transfer mechanism. A permit is also required for closure of an animal manure storage structure. Refer to the Animal Manure Storage and Nutrient Management Ordinance

I have witnessed manure runoff. Who do I call?

Call 715-346-1334 and ask for Land and Water Conservation staff. They respond to citizen complaints regarding manure runoff in Portage County.

Who can help me with shoreland erosion issues?

Land and Water Conservation staff is available to assist landowners with many issues involving shorelands, including shoreland erosion.

What is a nutrient management plan? Who can help me create a nutrient management plan?

A nutrient management plan manages nutrients on cropland, resulting in cost savings and water quality protection. Land and Water Conservation staff can assist landowners in writing nutrient management plans for their cropped fields.

Is there a fee for Land and Water Conservation staff assistance?

No. Technical assistance is available to Portage County landowners free of charge.

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