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Habitat strip on a farm
Article contributed by Marty Moses, Wisconsin State Coordinator for Pheasants Forever

Precision ag and conservation

Technology is bringing a new vibe to conservation efforts offered to farmers. Instead of sweeping mandates, rules, and regulations, a new data-driven method is being used to design efficient and cost-effective agricultural sustainability solutions. This precision ag and conservation approach is allowing projects to be targeted to the right place and at the right scale. In turn, farmers can achieve maximum economic and environmental impact.

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Sunset over Lake Mendota

Fun finds around the Yahara Watershed

Although the most beloved beaches and piers are popular for good reason, there are also some hidden gems around the watershed that may just become your new favorite as we practice social distancing!

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Schluter Beach 20May2020

Making Progress For Our Lakes

In 2019, Clean Lakes Alliance’s work was focused on actions that increased community engagement and reduced phosphorus runoff into the lakes. Keep reading to learn more about our 2019 achievements. These actions could not have been accomplished without the dedication and support of our boards, committees, donors, volunteers, staff, partners, and the community.

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Bernies Beach

A shared vision for clean, safe, and accessible lakes

In August 2019, leaders from government, business, and nonprofit organizations came together with a shared vision. The vision included a future in which Greater Madison’s five Yahara lakes are clean, safe, and accessible for everyone. Together, the 19 partners and collaborators formed the Yahara CLEAN Compact and committed to sharing resources and working together to curb pollution and chart the best path forward to cleaner, healthier lakes.

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Loop the Lake 2019 - with Friends sign

Take the next step and support our lakes!

Are you looking for a way to connect with our lakes this spring and summer? Here are 8 ways you can support Clean Lakes Alliance as we work toward protecting and improving the lakes of the Yahara Watershed.

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Water Quality Monitoring

Overview

In 2019 water quality monitoring took place at piers and beaches around the five Yahara lakes. Volunteers measured near-shore water clarity, air and water temperature, and noted several visual observations during the monitoring season, which runs from May to September. 

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2019 Clean Lakes Community Awards - awards

Announcing our 2019 Clean Lakes Community Awards Winners

On December 3rd, 2019 Clean Lakes Alliance honored seven outstanding individuals and groups at the Clean Lakes Community Awards. This event, presented by Town Bank, recognizes the accomplishments of individuals, volunteers, businesses, farmers, and other entities working to protect our Yahara lakes.

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Combine, Courtesy Illinois Farm Bureau

Wet weather forces farmers to alter harvest

As farmers across the area rush to get crops out of the fields, wet soil continues to slow this season’s harvest. In many cases, the wet soil made it impossible for farmers to get large trucks and trailers into the fields. As a result, farm equipment continues to be parked and loaded on the road.

“The rain and snow we experienced this fall has delayed the harvest by almost two months. When farmers are forced to park on the road it creates a safety issue when motorists drive too fast or too close to those trucks.”

Jeff Endres, Yahara Pride Farms Chairman
Combine used during harvest, Courtesy Illinois Farm Bureau
Combine used during harvest
(Courtesy Illinois Farm Bureau)

Helping with the harvest

Yahara Pride Farms’ partnering organization, Clean Lakes Alliance, wanted to draw more attention to area farmers working in altered conditions. This week Clean Lakes Alliance purchased more than 50 safety strobe lights that can attach to vehicles and equipment parked on the road.

“Yahara Pride farmers work to incorporate farming practices every day that help keep our lakes clean and safe, so it’s important to us to promote safety as they work to finish their harvest.”

James Tye, Clean Lakes Alliance Founder & Executive Director

Yahara Pride Farms board members will distribute the lights to the participating farmers in the watershed in the next few days. The goal is to have them in use as soon as possible. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is reminding motorists to avoid distractions and be mindful of speed limits as farmers work during hours of darkness to harvest their crops.

Working together since 2011

Yahara Pride Farms is a farmer-led nonprofit working to promote the adoption of conservation practices within the Yahara River Watershed. Clean Lakes Alliance founded and incubated this farmer-led organization. We have invested more than $500,000 to-date. Our investments have helped expand the group’s reach and impact.

Read more from Clean Lakes Alliance.