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Bear Creek Stewardship Plan - Authority for Implementing the Management Plan

The Management Plan will be implemented as a cooperative venture by a variety of agencies and organizations, but Cannon Township will assume primary responsibility for administration and Project oversight. Input from and feedback to officials of the other townships within the watershed will be utilized to insure the maximum feasible level of public participation and cooperation at this governmental level.

Management will be accomplished by the employment of a full-time Project Manager, and appropriate support staff to carry out the Management Plan in an efficient and timely manner. The Project Manager will be responsible for reaching Project goals and objectives.

Other agencies and organizations expected to participate include:

1. Kent County Soil Conservation District
The Soil Conservation District will be responsible for entering into agreements with landowners or land users. District staff offer technical assistance through the Soil Conservation Service. Soil Conservation Districts are legally recognized entities in the State of Michigan authorized to administer soil and water conservation activities and programs within their boundaries.

Duane Roberts is the chairman of the Kent Soil Conservation District Board.

2. USDA Soil Conservation Service
The SCS was formed by the US Congress in 1935 to address soil loss problems highlighted by the "dust bowl" era. Today the SCS assists landowners, land users and other with planning activities, application practices, and land and water conservation and maintenance. Assistance is offered for planning, layout, supervision, and certification of BMPs. Most assistance from the Soil Conservation Service is offered through Soil Conservation Districts by District Conservationists. Steven Utic is the Kent County District Conservationist.

3. United States Department of Agriculture
Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service ASCS provides cost-sharing on soil and water conservation and pollution prevention practicing. Most of these funds are channeled through the Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) for landowners and other applying soil, water, and wildlife conservation practices on agricultural lands in production. David Bain serves as Kent County Executive Director of the ASCS.

4. United States Department of Agriculture - Cooperative Extension Service
The Cooperative Extension Service is the educational arm of the USDA. It offers landowners, homeowners and others information on conservation programs and practices. The CES is also the link between the general public and the land-grant university (Michigan State University) which originates this educational information. Dr. William Harrison is the Kent County CES Director.

5. Michigan Department of Agriculture
Technical and financial assistance to soil conservation districts is provided through the MDA. Guidelines for Michigan's "Right to Farm" laws are coordinated by the MDA as well. Jim Johnson serves as MDA Environmental Division staff from the Lansing office; Kurt Thalen, serves as "Right to Farm" staff from the Lansing office.

6. Michigan Department of Natural Resources
The MDNR oversees protection of the state's natural resources, including water, land, air, and wildlife. The agency provides technical assistance and financial incentives for the protection and preservation of farmland, forestland, wetlands, and open space. The Bear Creek Watershed Management Plan will utilize the MDNR for assistance with aquatic and other wildlife habitat restoration and protection, stream improvements, pollution site management, and animal and human waste facilities control.

Janice Tompkins is the MDNR, District #9 Environmental Water Quality Analyst stationed in Grand Rapids; Amy Hilt is District #9 Fisheries Division staff; and, Tom Nederveld is District #9 Wildlife Division Biologist.

Thad Cleary, Surface Water Quality Division, Nonpoint Source staff member is headquartered in Lansing.

7. Kent County Road Commission
The Kent County Road Commission can identify and remediate present and potential stream-road sites of NPS. Ronald Sytsma is the Chair of the Kent County Road Commission.

8. Kent County Drain Commission
The Drain Commission is responsible for the establishment general maintenance, and repair of county drains. Roger Laninga is Kent County Drain Commissioner.

Letters of support from these and other cooperating agencies and organizations are appended to this report.

Page last modified January 19, 2011