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Long Range Plan 2018-2023

Clean water, healthy soils.
Vision Statement
A productive community in harmony with a quality environment. 
The Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) is a non-taxing subdivision of County, State and Federal Government. The District programs are administered by a Board of Directors composed of five (5) farmers or landowners who are elected by the owners or occupiers of land in Champaign County. Currently, the CCSWCD works to educate farmers, landowners, and occupiers on soil health, no-till, strip-till, cover crops, nutrient management, water quality, federal programs, state programs, and private sector options for conservation. The CCSWCD also has farm easements, conservation easements, the St. Joseph Wetland, Barnhart Prairie Restoration Project and offers tile mapping and fish sales. 
Read below about our priorities and how we plan to achieve our goals in the next several years.

Water Quality 

The CCSWCD believes clean water is one of the nation's highest priorities and will develop a successful program to protect, improve, and enhance water resources. 

  1. Promote STAR to improve water quality.

  2. Work with appropriate governmental agencies to implement National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater programs.

  3. Locate and seal abandoned wells.

  4. Provide education and assistance to residents so private sewage systems are properly installed and maintained.

  5. Work with watershed groups to create/update/participate in watershed planning and watershed plan implementation in the six Hydrologic Unit Code 8 watersheds in Champaign County (Salt Fork, Sangamon, Embarras, Kaskaskia, Little Vermilion, Middle Fork).

  6. Restart the Headwaters Committee. 

Soil Erosion Control 
Black Soil

The CCSWCD believes it is imperative to protect soil resources from erosion so that the region may continue to produce adequate amounts of food and fiber for future generations.

  1. Increase the percentage of corn and soybean acreage with over 30% residue at planting.

  2. All runoff from urban construction sites is treated to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Quality Standards.

  3. Reduce gully erosion by establishing grassed waterways, water and sediment control basins (WASCOBS), and terraces to convey all field runoff to adequate outlets.

  4. Encourage streambank restoration practices that provide minimal environmental impact and enhance aquatic habitat.

  5. Utilize STAR to reduce soil erosion and improve nutrient reduction.

Farmland Preservation
Barley Fields

The CCSWCD will continue to recognize and respect the rights and responsibilities of landowners in making private land use decisions. However, the District believes local units of government should utilize land use ordinances to bring about orderly urbanization with minimal loss of prime farmland. 

  1. Cooperate with local units of government to promote prime farmland protection.

  2. Prepare Natural Resource Information Reports for all urbanizing areas.

  3. Implement the Land Assessment and Site Evaluation (LESA) system for use in county zoning cases.

  4. Assist in the development of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Champaign County.

Wildlife Habitat 

The CCSWCD is committed to working with wildlife habitat groups to create, improve, and enhance the quality and quantity of habitat. 

  1. Develop and maintain the St. Joseph Wetland and Barnhart Prairie Restoration projects to increase habitat. 

  2. Promote filter strips on stream and ditch banks.

  3. Promote windbreaks at rural residences and adjacent to fields. 

  4. Promote wetlands. 

  5. Promote wildlife habitat. 

  6. Promote habitat corridors where practical.

  7. Encourage landowners and operators to manage rural roadsides for wildlife habitat.

  8. Assist in projects to improve aquatic habitat.

  9. Collaborate with local conservation groups to establish/improve wildlife habitat

Water Management
Backyard Pond

The CCSWCD believes surface and subsurface drainage systems are in an integral part of agricultural production and environmental quality in urban and agricultural areas.

  1. Install drainage systems and maintain them to improve water quality, decrease flooding, and reduce erosion.

  2. Manage urban stormwater runoff to prevent flooding.

  3. Promote Conservation Management Practices to manage the quantity of runoff water.

  4. Drainage Water Management

  5. Promote wetland development where appropriate

  6. Promote residue management to increase infiltration

  7. Assist drainage districts with technical assistance and promote technology transfer of maintenance techniques that balance drainage needs with upland and aquatic habitat needs.

  8. Promote water conservation to reduce total consumption.

  9. Assist with irrigation reporting, tabulation, and sustainability.

  10. Monitor and provide latest research data on drainage to rural and urban clients. 

Education, Natural Resource Data, Public Information and Participation
Open Book

The CCSWCD believes that all persons within the county should understand the importance of natural resources in relation to the availability of food and fiber, which affect their general standard of living and well-being. 

  1. Educate the public on the mission of CCSWCD through public awareness in the mass media.

  2. Educate youth by partnering with groups to provide science-based natural resource education in schools.

  3. Collaborate with other conservation entities in the state, and possibly the nation, and recognize groups for conservation efforts.

  4. Encourage public involvement in conservation efforts and local research, including surveys and data collection. 

  5. Continue GIS data layer development.

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