FIGURE 6.1

Blue Earth River Basin Watershed. SOURCE: Reprinted, with permission, from Meschke, 1997. © 1997 from Blue Earth River Basin Initiative.

ties. These five counties include about 80 percent of the Blue Earth River Watershed. Their goal is to improve the water quality of the Blue Earth River Basin through planning, coordination, and implementation of conservation practices and to share the water quality improvement strategies with others. Two committees make up the BERBI organization. A Policy Committee is made up of one supervisor from each of the five SWCDs plus a county commissioner, who serves in an ex-officio capacity. The Technical Committee includes a water planner and an SWCD staff member from each of the counties. This committee develops BERBI projects in each county. The SWCD staff works directly with landowners in their county on a regular basis to implement the projects. A coordinator writes and develops project proposals to secure funding and coordinates BERBI's work with the many other groups and agencies working within the region (Meschke, 1997).

Another Minnesota example is the Big Sandy Area Lakes Watershed (BSALW), a locally based watershed management organization with limited formal powers and authority. BSALW is an example of a watershed group working together, without benefit of formal organization structures, to practice stewardship over their region and their economy (Dziuk, 1997). BSALW covers 413 sq. mi. in portions of three counties in northern Minnesota, and includes 32 fishable lakes and 4 rivers that eventually feed the Mississippi River. The lakes in the BSALW have a surface area of about 14,996 acres and generate an estimated



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