Watershed Management Planning
Managers are required to prepare, and then operate within, the general framework of their Overall Plan, now called the Watershed Management Plan or the Revised Watershed Management Plan. The law requires such plans to be revised at least once every ten years.
The first District plan was prepared in 1966 and 1967 by the Managers with the direct assistance of an Advisory Committee. Comprised of a wide range of community leaders, the Advisory Committee, included City and County officials, local businessmen and professionals, federal and state officials, lake association representatives, and educators.
The committee was divided into work groups which prepared portions of the plan (modeled after existing Watershed District plans that had been made available). The notes and recommendations for the various parts of the plan were pulled together by Reverend Emerson Harris (Detroit Lakes Congregational church) who wrote the final draft of the plan.
The 1967 plan focused on eutrophication problems of area lakes; it noted the gaps in information and indicated that a principal task of the District would be to conduct basic research and obtain data on the nature and causes of the water quality problems. A hearing was held on October 19, 1967; very strong community support for the plan and District’s managers was reported by city and county officials, lake association groups, and other citizens. The County Auditor noted that property values had decreased on those lakes which had deteriorated the most, and that the community would be threatened if steps were not taken to correct the problems.
The District’s Overall Plan was approved by the State in December, 1967, and served the District for almost 27 years. With the passage of time, the original plan no longer served the needs of the District. For that reason, and in order to comply with State Law, the District began to consider revisions to its management plan in the late 1980’s.
From 1990-1992 several different drafts were prepared for agency review. In each instance, the draft was found to be deficient in some respect. In the meantime the District had entered into a Clean Lakes Partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, an arrangement that lead to signfificant improvement in understanding of lake water quality problems and their causes. Therefore it was decided to postpone the preparation of the District’s Revised Water Management Plan (RWMP) until it had completed comprehensive diagnostic study for the PCA.
Accordingly, in mid-1994, a RWMP revision, bearing little resemblance to earlier versions finally was
prepared and sent to BWSR for review. It reflected major re-thinking of District goals and the status of
Current Water Management Plan