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Letter: Grateful for region's natural resources this Earth Day

Every Earth Day, we at the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) reflect on the wonderful natural resources we get to enjoy in Lake County.

Our staff is grateful for the opportunity to work with members of the community to facilitate voluntary initiatives to conserve land, water, forests and wildlife in our area. We are one of 89 SWCDs across the state — and nearly 3,000 across the nation — that provide a neighborly presence to help preserve and protect the natural resources that we all love. The Lake County SWCD has been around for more than 50 years, and we're proud of the impact we've made.

Recent highlights of our work include riverbank stabilization, spruce budworm management, forest management plans, invasive species control both aquatic and terrestrial, water quality monitoring and more.

SWCDs are local units of government that carry out natural resource management programs at the local level. We provide voluntary, incentive-driven approaches to landowners for better soil and cleaner water in the state of Minnesota. Private landowners, using financial and technical assistance from local SWCDs, are implementing a wide variety of conservation practices including restoring wetlands, planting shelterbelts and buffers, and preventing soil erosion.

Born in the wake of the Dust Bowl, SWCDs have been involved in delivering conservation across America for more than 70 years. Because Minnesota has a wide variety of landscapes and conservation needs, each district operates at the direction of locally elected board supervisors. This local perspective allows SWCDs to manage the resources and serve the needs of the citizens in their district.

SWCD staff and supervisors build partnerships with public and private, local, state and federal entities in an effort to develop locally-driven solutions to natural resource concerns. We work with landowners every step of the way from planning to implementation.

Our work results in cleaner water, healthier wildlife habitat, better soil, and a trusted, collaborative relationship with the community. What a great thing to celebrate this Earth Day.

To learn more about how your SWCD can help you, visit our website at lakecountyswcd.org or stop by our new office at 408 1st Ave. in Two Harbors.

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