Large Scale Lake Planning
Presentation of the main goals of the Courte Oreilles Lakes Association in making a lake management plan addressing: cranberry discharge, changing land use in the LCO watershed, LCO shoreland development and buffer areas, invasive species management, and lake and stream monitoring.
Website for the Lac Courte Oreilles Lake Management Plan that includes links to implementation updates.
This report and its companion effort Lac Courte Oreilles Economic Survey and Assessment, have been prepared for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources via Lake Planning Grants awarded to the Courte Oreilles Lakes Association (COLA). Key challenges include maintaining forests & waters in an increasingly variable climate with droughts, fires, wet periods, intense storms (damage, erosion and shock loads to lakes and streams) and longer growing seasons. A balance must be achieved between limiting the amount of pollutants flowing into waters and conflicting water uses (e.g. cranberry discharges and development) so the lakes stay healthy and maintain present beneficial uses. This will mean (1) working with the owners to eliminate cranberry operation discharges; (2) enforcement of existing land use ordinances and minimizing variances for nonconforming structures and practices (Losing our lakes: Part 1. Rules skirted and lakes under attack, Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 6, 2010); (3) buffering 100% of the LCO shoreline; (4) installation, and maintenance and oversight of agricultural and forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs); and (5) adopting new low impact development ordinances to treat stormwater from new development runoff on site.
Lake Management Plan Development
COLA ultimate goal is to develop a lake management Plan for Big Courte Oreilles Lake. The plan will address the following problems: 1) Eutrophication; 2) Control and prevention of invasive species; 3) Future treatment and protection options for changing economies and conditions; 4) Adapting to climate change.
This project, phase IV, will utilize data collected from two other planning grants (phase I and II) completed earlier.
The project includes the following goals (Phase IV): 1) Management and Adaption-Define a range of potential future land use and changing climate impact scenarios and potential adaptations including future management practices and critical conservation areas; 2) Integrate Information to Develop Short and Long Term Goals-For the flow network, define numeric goals for protection and rehabilitation, developing short term and long term management and implementation plans for lake protection and rehabilitation, and identify timeline and responsible parties for completion of work elements.
Project deliverables include: Goal 1- Written report, summary modeling and sensitivity analysis; Goal 2-Written committee recommendations (management plan).