Water Management Agreement Reached For The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

DNR, U.S. Forest Service Work To Reduce Duplication For Water Project Applications

Amy Bayer (CC-BY-ND)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service say they’ve reached an agreement to speed up reviews of water projects in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Among all the trees, the Chequamegon-Nicolet also has numerous waterways. When road culverts or boat landings are proposed, they need state permits under the Clean Water Act. A new agreement will reduce duplication in the proposals and reviews done by federal and state staff.

The DNR’s John Gozdzialski said streamlining won’t mean a decline in state standards.

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“We will set up a system where annually, we’ll set a team together — a couple biologists from Forest Service and our biologists — and do compliance checks,” he said.

Gozdzialski said there’s a similar process in place for reviewing management practices for forest water quality. Chequamegon-Nicolet Supervisor Paul Strong said the agreement will also speed up work on watershed restoration and water quality improvement projects.