Much of the Mt. Valley Township in Winnebago County has been converted over to wetland restoration and another project is on the horizon if the NCRS has its way. In a meeting this week of the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors, approval was reached on a proposal to return portions of Drainage Districts 83, 88, 89, and 101 into a wetland in late February. The project would not cost landowners anything but may affect their drainage.
The project involves creating dams along county roads and developing up to 10 small to medium-sized ponds that would be bordered with non-perforated tile. The ponds could grow in size to take in drainage from upstream and would release water into drainage systems under the dams and staged release points.
Landowners originally were not as impressed as one might think. One of the major concerns was that property which is owned by the Department of Natural Resources or other government entities like the NRCS that land that is turned into wetland is not maintained. Farmers around the proposed wetland were concerned that trees would overtake the property, particularly around drainage systems. They cited other wetland locations where trees were dominating the landscape and rooting themselves into drainage systems and those areas were not being cleaned out properly.
Government entities including the DNR and the NRCS reassured farmers and landowners that they will try to keep drainage systems coming from the wetlands clear of brush and trees. This would then not hamper drainage going into the wetland and water flowing out.