Since the Minnesota Buffer Law was first passed in 2015, the state has invested heavily in its implementation and developed multiple resources for tracking statewide results and assisting farmers with compliance.
A Riparian Protection Aid fund was established as part of the law’s 2017 amendments to provide financial assistance for the implementation and enforcement of its requirements. This fund allocated $8 million in calendar year 2017, and $10 million in calendar year 2018. The money is divided among each of Minnesota’s counties and distributed to the entity responsible for local implementation of the law. Funding provided for each county ranged between $40,000 and $160,000 in 2017 and was increased to a range of $50,000 to $200,000 in 2018. Further details about the Riparian Protection Aid fund can be found in the full text of the statute that establishes it.
Narrative descriptions of the progress implementing the law are regularly published by the State Board of Water and Soil Resources. According to the most recent Buffer Program Update that was published in August 2018, the buffer law compliance rate is approximately 95.3 percent for all water bodies throughout the state. In addition, a Buffer Compliance Map is available as a visual guide for compliance tracking. Data for this map is collected by the state using satellite imagery, which is then followed-up by field-level reviews. A second interactive map called the Buffer Map Viewing Application is also published online, and can be used by farmers to locate waters that require buffers and as a reference for additional information about specific buffer width requirements.