PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS
Tomorrow River: 2019 State of the River Report
The reason for this report of the Tomorrow River’s ecological system is to encourage stewardship efforts by all Portage County stakeholders. The report can be utilized by local and regional decision-makers as a benchmark for stewardship outcomes today and for future generations. Information about the Tomorrow River and its tributaries exists due to the hard work of professional and citizen scientists. We hope their continued enthusiasm will fuel data collection efforts that will enable future generations to make informed decisions about the protection and restoration of this cherished river system. Funding for the report was provided by the George Rogers Memorial Tomorrow River Fund, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR River Planning Grant RP30117), Thomas and Nancy Miller, and the Bill Cook Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. Grant management, land use information, and spatial analysis support were provided by Portage County. Download Report.
Soil and Water Resource Management (SWRM) Program
Administered by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Under Chapter 92 State Statutes, and Chapter ATCP 50 Administrative Code, SWRM provides annual staffing grants for LWCD staff, as well as cost-share grants for landowners to implement conservation practices.
Nonpoint Source Administrative Rules
Written by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the following Administrative Rules are described below (click on the link to view rule):
NR 151 - Runoff Management (Performance Standards and Prohibitions)NR 153 - Targeted Runoff Management Grant Program
This chapter establishes minimum pollution performance standards for non-agricultural facilities, and performance standards and prohibitions for agricultural facilities and practices designed to achieve water quality standards.NR 243 - Animal Feeding Operations
This chapter promotes management of urban and rural nonpoint pollution sources in critical geographic locations where nonpoint source related water quality problems and threats are most severe and control is most feasible.
The purpose of this chapter is to implement design standards and accepted management practices, and to establish permit requirements and the basis for issuing permits. This chapter also establishes the criteria under which the DNR may issue a notice of discharge or a permit to other animal feeding operations that discharge pollutants to waters of the State, or fail to comply with applicable performance standards and prohibitions.
Central Wisconsin Windshed Partnership Group (CWWP)
Administration is provided by Portage County. Other partners are Adams, Juneau, Waushara, and Wood Counties. Advisors are: the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), DATCP, DNR, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension (UWEX), and Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D). Among the services provided by the CWWP are: field windbreaks, farmstead, homestead, and livestock shelterbelts, living snow fence establishment, reforestation, and wildlife habitat development and improvement.
An Animal Manure Storage Permit must be obtained from the LWCD prior to constructing, altering, or abandoning a manure storage facility. The current version of the Ordinance was approved by the County Board on March 21, 2006 and revised July 21, 2015 and December 19, 2017.
Portage County Lakes Study and Planning
During the three year Lakes Study project, twenty nine Portage County lakes were studied for water quality, fish and aquatic organisms, wildlife, and land use. Planning committees for each of the lakes were formed, consisting of interested landowners and citizens, sports clubs, and municipal officers, with County, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), and DNR professionals providing information and support. Using the data from the Lakes Study project and information collected from surveys of watershed citizens, management plans were developed for all the lakes.
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program
As a result of information collected during the Portage County Lakes Study, Eurasian Water Milfoil was recorded on eight of the 29 lakes studied. In cooperation with Golden Sands RC&D, the DNR, and UWSP, an in depth analysis was conducted, resulting in recommendations for treatment on each lake.
Access the Golden Sands RC&D AIS webpage here. From there, click on the Portage County AIS link to find out what is going specifically in Portage County.
Farmland Preservation Program/Working Lands Initiative (FPP/WLI)
The Wisconsin WLI was passed as a part of the State's 2009 - 2011 biennial budget process. The Wisconsin WLI can be found primarily in Chapter 91 of Wisconsin State Statutes. Main components include:
- Expand and modernize the State's existing FPP
- Establish Agricultural Enterprise Areas (AEAs)
- Develop a Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement matching grant program (PACE)
The goal of the WLI is to achieve preservation of areas significant for current and future agricultural uses through successful implementation of these components.
Click: here for more information.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
CREP is a joint effort between the Federal, State and County governments to complement working agriculture and the protection of Wisconsin's soils and water resources. CREP pays landowners to install filter strips along waterways or to return continually flooded fields to wetlands while leaving the remainder of the adjacent land in agricultural production. Financial incentives of CREP include cost sharing of conservation practice installation, up front incentive payments, and annual soil rental payments. Click here for more information.
LWCD staff is available to assist landowners in:
- Conducting resource inventories, including soils, drainage, topography, water resources, land use, and vegetation through on-site visits or map interpretations.
- Providing engineering and designs for construction projects, including site surveys, soil profile analysis, runoff and flow calculations, and the preparation of construction drawings.
- Supervising the installation of conservation practices.
- Administering local regulations aimed to prevent water pollution from construction site erosion, urban stormwater runoff, and manure storage facilities.
Financial assistance may be available for installing best management practices through local, State, or Federal grant sources. LWCD staff can assist in researching available funds.