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Oct 15

Money Growing on Trees?

Posted on October 15, 2019 at 1:31 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 10/15/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  Blue Earth County Drainage Authority will be holding a hearing on a possible jurisdictional transfer of ditchThose affected landowners should receive notice via U.S. Mail.  The notice will include the time and location for hearing.                                                   

Project Updates:


  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Clean-up work is still on-going.  Final installation of water quality intakes and grading of intakes is slowly being completed.  Weather, as we all know, has played a rather large factor on recent productivity.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  Waiting until after harvest to finish minor grading and televising of the new pipe. 
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  Nothing new from last week.    
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  This large repair has been completed.                                                                            

Money Growing on Trees?

Money doesn’t literally grow on trees, at least none that I have found.  However, I did come across an article that discussed what might be the next best thing. The article focuses on trees and carbon dioxide.

As some of us may recall from earth science class, trees take in carbon dioxide as part of their photosynthesis process and exhale oxygen.  Trees can actually store millions and millions of tons of carbon dioxide.

Local Minnesota environmental groups are looking at a practice, started in California, called carbon sequestrating.  This program is part of a growing cap and trade system that is spreading to other states.  The California program works like this: large industrial plants and facilities that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide) are given a cap, which is an emission limit they are not to exceed.

If these large companies exceed their yearly limit to greenhouse gases, they have to either buy carbon credits (from other companies) or invest in forestry projects that promote sequestrating carbon (stored carbon in trees).  For lager landowners with large amounts of wooded areas this can be a huge money maker.  A group out in Maine is set to earn around $40 million dollars for managing their 90,000 acres of forest land.

The article goes on to talk about how it’s another way to incentivize forestry landowners and forestry companies to better manage their trees, in addition to normal practices. 

One Minnesota company is managing the only large-scale carbon storage program currently in the state.  Blandin Paper Company, near the Grand Rapids area, has set aside 175,000 acres for this 20-year carbon program.  In the 20 year program, it is estimated that the trees will store around 3.6 million tons of carbon dioxide.  That is the equivalent of taking almost 760,000 cars off the Minnesota roads for an entire year.  Pretty impressive if you stop and think about it.

For more reading on this article, click the link provide.


Recent Drainage Inspections – week of October 7 – October 11:

  • CD35 (Mapleton Twp.)  Beaver have been removed from the drainage ditch and we will have a contractor remove the dam that is holding a fairly large amount of water.
  • CD05 (Medo Twp.)  Beaver dam has been cleared from culverts near the system outlet.  This will have to be monitored, as the beavers are an on-going issue in this area.  The photo below is of the crossing, even after cleaning beaver dams out of culverts.cd05 outlet crossing 2
  • JD36 Brown (Cambria Twp.)  More beaver issues on a section of open ditch.  This is another open ditch system that we have almost constant issues with beavers.
  • JD15 Les. (Jamestown Twp.)  Monitoring water levels after recent large rainfalls. 
  • JD01 (Sterling Twp.)  Monitoring water levels of both the local lake and water levels in our drainage system.  Our all tile system has been functioning quit well this year with no major issues.

Short week for me last week of only three days of work, that explains the short list of inspections. 

Mowing will resume after harvest for some southern portions of the county.

We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist