Sibley Meadows Wetland Bank, Sibley County, Minnesota

Sibley Meadows Wetland Bank

Location
Icon of Sibley County, Minnesota

Sibley County, Minnesota

Overview

This project was the first to employ the “Alternative Method for Determining Wetland Mitigation Credit Potential on Hydrologic Restorations on Cultivated Fields in Minnesota” joint USACE and BWSR guidance.

The Sibley Meadows Wetland Bank includes 158 acres of mesic prairie, wet meadow, shallow marsh, and deep marsh. Bank approval occurred in November 2019. Monitoring commenced in spring 2020, using floristic quality assessment methodology to determine restoration success.

The project abandoned and rerouted a significant portion of Judicial Ditch 12. Project challenges included neighboring property push back and contentious county board meetings. Through several property owner meetings, county board meetings, and question and answer sessions, the project was delivered on time. Since design changes were fluid, communication with MN Board of Water Soil Resources (BWSR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was critical so the design would pass through each permitting stage without regulator disagreement.

This project was also the first to employ the “Alternative Method for Determining Wetland Mitigation Credit Potential on Hydrologic Restorations on Cultivated Fields in Minnesota” joint USACE and BWSR guidance. As part of our prospectus, we submitted a credit allocation map, based on Clean Water Act (CWA) and Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) guidance. Through agency negotiation and coordination, this new crediting methodology was developed using the Sibley Meadows Wetland Bank as its basis. By incorporating this methodology, this bank and others see up to a 15 percent increase in federally approved credits.

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