From our Lakes and Rivers

The Cross Lake Association of Pine County has been designated a Star Lake Association.  The Minnesota State Legislature established a statute for a Star Lakes and Rivers program in 2008. A Star Lake Board was also established to encourage and reward citizen-based associations that actively participate in protecting and enhancing surface waters of Minnesota.  The program provides financial incentives, educational efforts and public-private partnerships. An awards event has been scheduled for early May. A key criteria for eligibility for this recognition was the development of a lake management plan.  With training and financial support  from the Initiative Foundation, the association had already gone through this phase.  Local citizens may recall participating in a Visioning Session several years ago, which was part of the process of developing a plan. A second criteria was participation in a water quality monitoring program meeting Minnesota Pollution Control Agency standards. In this category the association has a long-standing record of carrying out its own program of chemical, physical and bacteria testing of streams, lakes and the river, as well as partnering with Pine County Soil and Water, the Snake River Watershed Management, University of Minnesota Water Resources Center, and the Minnesota EPA.  The association will continue to collect testing data in the second year of a two-year diagnostic TMDL study  of Cross Lake for the Minnesota EPA. This will lead to specific recommendations for improvement of water quality in the Snake River Watershed. A third criteria requires high participation of shoreland property owners.   And fourthly, continual analysis of monitoring results by the water quality team and input from property owners has lead to addressing specific problems.  The Association recognizes that improvement of water quality will require continued cooperation and initiative at all levels.  Local support has been excellent! Jerry TrentWater Quality Chair