Friday, August 22, 2008

Otter River Rapid Watershed Assessment public meeting to be Aug. 26 in Tapiola

HOUGHTON -- A public meeting on the Otter River Rapid Watershed Assessment (RWA) will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, at the Doelle Senior Citizens Center in Tapiola. The Center is located on the southeast corner of Lake Avenue and Tapiola Road.

Aerial image of the Otter River Watershed showing Otter Lake. Click on photo for larger version. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources photo courtesy Bruce Petersen of Natural Resources Conservation Service. Reprinted with permission from Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council newsletter.)

This meeting will give the community an update on how the Rapid Watershed Assessment Study came about, a summary of the work done so far and plans for the future direction the Assessment will take. The Assessment provides guidance on where conservation investments would best address concerns of landowners, conservation districts, community organizations and stakeholders within that watershed, which includes an area of approximately 83,561 acres.

All watershed residents are invited to attend the meeting and provide input for solutions to protect the natural resources of this area.

This photo shows an eroded bank of the Otter River. (Photo by Dave Rulison and courtesy Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council. Reprinted with permission.)

In the spring of 2008, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) began this project in partnership with the UpperPeninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council, Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK), the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance. They intend to provide a summary report of their assessment of natural resource concerns within the watershed by Oct. 1, 2008.

For further information on the meeting, or general questions, contact the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District at 906-482-0214. See also the Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council newsletter about this project, available on their Web site.