HILLSDALE LAKE WATERSHED

Shaded area indicates priority project area.

ISSUES

Hard surfaces increase the quantity and rate of runoff entering stream channels, eroding streambanks and beds and increasing the pollutant load. Development at the upper reaches of Little Bull Creek and Big Bull Creek is degrading those streams.

We encourage developers, cities and counties to utilize low-impact development and green infrastructure practices to halt damage to watershed streams.

Agricultural runoff contains excess nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) and varying amounts of sediment depending on the type of operation, farming methods and conservation practices in place.

We help farmers adopt better farming methods such as continuous no-till with cover crops and subsurface fertilizer application.

Livestock are the main source of phosphorus entering watershed streams and the lake. Horses graze grass to the ground, leaving no cover to hold soil in place or to utilize excess nutrients. Cattle may lounge in streams on hot days, disturbing sediment and directly contributing phosphorus into water ways through urine.

We help livestock owners protect streams with fencing, off-stream watering systems and rotational grazing systems.

FEATURES

Wetlands hold storm waters and release them slowly, protecting streams from erosive forces of flash floods. They form the basis of the food web for insects, fish and birds; provide groundwater recharge and water storage; and remove pesticides and excess nutrients from water.

We construct new wetlands on private and public lands.

Stream-side buffers slow and infiltrate runoff, hold streambank soil in place and provide critical wildlife habitat. In many areas of the watershed, buffers are absent along significant stretches of streams.

We help landowners stabilize streambanks and establish, expand and improve riparian buffers.