N2: Oral Presentation C Thursday, 4:00 � 4:30 pm C Lake Superior Ballroom MN

Clay SWCD: A Wetland Functional Analysis Model

Steve Hofstad
Clay Soil and Water Conservation District
1506 30th Avenue South Suite B
Moorhead, MN  56560
sch@mnmoorhead.fsc.usda.gov

Rose Erickson
Pro-West & Associates, Inc.
PO Box 812
Walker, MN  56484

Clay County, funded by a challenge grant through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCMR), has developed a wetland model to assist in local wetland planning. The model uses GIS to evaluate wetland functions and generate a map with detailed information -� both physical and functional. Using the hydric soils coverage along with DEM�s, and in some areas photo interpretation data, the whole county has been analyzed for possible drained wetland basins that can be evaluated as potential replacement sites. GIS tools have been developed that will assist the user in locating replacement sites with similar functions or total score as the impacted wetland, either in the same minor watershed or a nearby watershed. 

An interagency technical panel was assembled to develop criteria for evaluating wetland functions based on their area of expertise. Wetland Functions were determined by physical or geophysical characteristics and rated as low, medium or high. The results of this analysis identify wetlands that are high priority for protection and those where greater jurisdictional flexibility may be exercised. It improves the efficiency of natural resource managers and saves considerable time in processing wetland applications. It also provides a basis for local policy decisions.