Otter Tail County commissioners addressed watershed challenges during the county board meeting on Tuesday morning, Jan. 9.

There are four major watersheds and four minor watersheds situated in Otter Tail County.

The goals addressed at the county board meeting included preventing erosion, ensuring continued soil productivity, protecting water quality, reducing damages caused by floods, preserving wildlife and protecting public lands.

In light of these goals, Commissioner Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls made a motion which was passed unanimously, to have a county board committee develop an action plan while dealing with the eight watersheds in Otter Tail County.

A year ago, Otter Tail County and area counties adopted the philosophy of “One watershed, one plan.”

The plan is intended to utilize the existing structures of county government, soil and water conservation districts and watershed districts while increasing collaboration across county lines.

The “one watershed,” plan is based on two guiding principles; a broad range of stakeholders to ensure an integrated approach to watershed management and formal agreements among participating local governments on how to manage and operate watersheds.

Stakeholders in the plan can not only include county government, but can include lake associations, farm organizations, citizen-based environmental groups and other entities.

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