Thank you to all Cross Lake Association members for your financial support and continuing words of encouragement! I am greatly encouraged not only by the large numbers of property owners who are members of the association, but by the numbers who contribute well beyond the basic $15, as well as giving supplements to water quality, and the college scholarship fund. Well done, folks! If you are currently not a member, please join. This is a community that cares.
Cross Lake Association is an influential and effective cog in dealing with water quality at the local, county and state level (especially the DNR and MPCA). The CLA has worked hand in hand with the Pine County SWCD and the Snake River Watershed. Requests for projects have been data driven. Extensive data collected by and for the MPCA has led to an in-depth analysis of the watershed and plans for remediation of specific water quality problems.
Water Quality Projects and State Funding
State funding is being allocated to the DNR, Snake River Watershed Management Board, Pine County SWCD, and Pine County to carry out various water quality and invasive species projects. SRWMB applied for, and was awarded, two grants totaling about $500,000. Some of the money will be used to hire a specialist, but the bulk of the money will be used for shore restoration projects.
Cross Lake Association again applied for assistance for treating Curleyleaf Pondweed. Pine County is using $7800 of its $158,000 allocation of state money to help defray cost of this treatment. The DNR will provide $1500 again this year. CLA provides the balance. Pine County provided CLA with $2500 for its involvement in 2014 in the state plant and animal invasive species program.
Pine County also purchased a mobile, self contained high temperature, high pressure boat/trailer washing station to remove invasive species from boats/trailers at the DNR landing in Pine City and the landing on Pokegama Lake. The unit will be stored in the Pine County garage and shared by the two lake associations. The county plans to hire DNR trained college students to inspect boats/trailers and educate people re: invasive species. The county will also provide trained deputies at certain boat landings as was done at the last Labor Day weekend.
Jill Carlier, PC SWCD, has hired a specialist to replace Sam Martin who is now working for the DNR. Carlier has been leading several projects that would involve a Cross Lake ravine/spillway in the northeast area of the lake. Problems with Pine County culverts leading runoff into the lake, and a possible holding pond on the east side of county 9 are also being considered by engineers. A proposal will be presented at the Pine County courthouse May 15.
And lastly, Governor Dayton has supported a specific 50 foot buffer on all cultivated land draining into waterways. Much debate has followed his proposal, but it is clear that relatively few acres are actually affected by this. Keep in mind that a buffer law has already been on the books for years…. but not generally enforced! Iowa and Minnesota are both plagued with serious and longstanding problems with phosphate and nitrate pollution of public waterways from agricultural sources.
Recycling Organic Matter
Whenever possible, compost or mulch nutrient-rich organic matter such as grass and leaves for your yard and garden. Think of it as free fertilizer. The Pine City Pioneer indicated that the city compost site reopened April 1 and will be open 3-7 pm on Wednesdays and 10-3 on Saturdays. Free for Pine City residents and $5 per load for non-residents. This is a good place to take tree brush and limbs.
As part of natural recycling, don’t forget to plant trees and shrubs. They help the environment by removing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, as well as producing long roots to hold the soil and reducing runoff. They also provide shade, color and habitat.