Recent News and Updates
Look for upcoming meetings below. You can find past meeting dates and minutes by clicking the meetings and events tab, or by clicking here.
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The Pomme de Terre River Association applied for 3 seperate grant funds for 2013 after 2 straight years of successful applications. Although only one application was funded, the Pomme de Terre received $480,000 to keep the momentum in implementing BMPs to improve water quality. In 3 straight years through BWSR and the Clean Water Fund, the PDTRA has brought nearly $1.1 million dollars in tax generated grant funds back to rural Minnesota.
May 10, 2013: A regular JPB meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 10th at the USDA-ARS soils lab in Morris, MN. The JPB meets on a bi-monthly, or as needed basis depending on the time of year and work to be completed, and the meetings are generally held on the 2nd Friday of the month.
June 5, 2013: A regular TAC meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 5 at 9:30am at the USDA-ARS soils lab in Morris. The TAC meets monthly or as needed based on current events usually on the 1st Wednesday of the month.
See the Meetings and Events section to see past meetings and meeting minutes.
The Pomme de Terre River Association
The Pomme de Terre River Association is an organization concerned with the Pomme de Terre Watershed in western Minnesota. The association was formed in 1981 to work on improving the water quality of the River.
Today, the Pomme de Terre River Association is in the process of implementing two TMDL projects in conjuntion with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The stretch of the Pomme de Terre from Muddy Creek to Marsh Lake is impaired for both turbidity and fecal coliform. The association has hired Brett Arne as Watershed Project Coordinator. Brett will be meeting with various other agencies and citizen groups to determine the best ways to improve water quality in the river, with the goal of eventually removing the river from the impaired waters list.
Pomme de Terre: Land of the Potato
Pomme de Terre is French for “land of the potato”. Where did such a name come from? Potatoes are not currently found in the Pomme de Terre watershed. The common crops are corn, wheat and soybeans. The name of the river originates from a prairie plant known an Indian Breadroot (psoralea esculenta). Before European settlement in the area, the Pomme de Terre watershed was a vast native prairie full of grasses and flowering plants. Indian Breadroot was common and plentiful here.
The plant was a valuable resource for Native Americans and served as a staple food source because of its large taproot “tuber.” The hard fibrous outer layer of the root kept it from spoiling, even in winter, so the Native Americans could dig it up and hang it in their teepees until needed. Then they would cut it down, boil the starchy tuberous rootstalk, remove the fibrous leathery outer layer and eat it as a boiled or mashed food similar to our potato.
Now rare, Indian Breadroot and the rest of the once-common prairie plants and flowers are now only found where the plow has not touched the soil. Changes over time have resulted in the Pomme de Terre watershed now containing a great amount of cropland and livestock due to the rich soil that once allowed those prairie plants to prosper. Along with the positive gains from agriculture come some negative effects as well. The use of this land for crops and livestock, as well as the effects of inadequate sewer systems, has resulted in fertilizers, fecal bacteria, and soil being washed into the river, causing it to become impaired.
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