First MN CREP wetland easement
in state augments habitat restoration

Rob Westby, center, points out aspects of the state’s first recorded MN CREP wetland easement to his uncle and aunt, Verl and Sharon Charboneau, at left, and his mother-in-law, Donna Toso, and neighbor Steve Handegaard, at right, on July 12 near Dalton. Photo Credits: Ann Wessel, BWSR
Loreli and Rob Westby recorded the first MN CREP wetland easement in the state. It forever protects the balance of their 620 acres. She’s a pharmacist and he’s a taxidermist; both enjoy hunting on their property.
Staff from BWSR, left, and the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts photograph, from left: BWSR Board Chairman Gerry Van Amburg, Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Executive Director Mark Johnson, BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke and MASWCD President Kurt Beckstrom. They posed in front of the seeder used to plant a 32-species mix of native grasses and wildflowers on the Westbys’ MN CREP wetland easement.
Aaron Larsen, West Otter Tail SWCD project manager, explains the conservation easement and planned wetland restoration during a July 12 site visit.
Loreli Westby began her remarks by reading from a 1979 Fergus Falls Daily Journal article that quoted her late father, who was being recognized as Conservationist of the Year. About 45 people attended a ceremony July 12 at the Dalton Community Center to celebrate the state’s first recorded MN CREP wetland easement.

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