Programs & Projects

Central Wisconsin Windshed Partnership Group

Administration is provided by Portage County. Other partners are Adams, Juneau, Waushara, and Wood Counties. Advisors are the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), DATCP, DNR, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension (UWEX), and Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D). Among the services provided by the CWWP are: field windbreaks, farmsteads, homestead, and livestock shelterbelts, living snow fence establishment, reforestation, and wildlife habitat development and improvement.

Visit the Central Wisconsin Windshed Partnership Group Page for more information.

Nutrient Management

Nutrient management refers to the use of manure and other fertilizers to meet crop nutrient needs while reducing the potential for them to run off fields to lakes, streams, and groundwater. It helps assure that crops get the right amount of nutrients - nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, often referred to as N-P-K -at the right time and place. For more information - Nutrient Management Planning (NMP) (PDF) in Portage County.

Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project

Portage County is a proud partner of the Little Plover Watershed Enhancement Project LPRWEP, along with local, state, academic, and non-profit partners convened by the Village of Plover joined to improve the health of the Little Plover River.

Visit the Plover Website for more information.

Upper Fox-Wolf Demonstration Farm Network

The Upper Fox-Wolf Demonstration Farm Network launched in 2019 is a partnership involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS), the counties of Waupaca, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Outagamie, Portage, Shawano, and Winnebago, and the Green Lake Association. The Network supports producers on a voluntary basis to address erosion control and non-point source pollution.

Tomorrow River

Information about the Tomorrow River and its tributaries exists due to the hard work of professional and citizen scientists. Funding for the report was provided by the George Rogers Memorial Tomorrow River Fund, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR River Planning Grant RP30117), Thomas and Nancy Miller, and the Bill Cook Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. Grant management, land use information, and spatial analysis support were provided by Portage County.

Soil and Water Resource Management (SWRM) Program

Administered by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Under Chapter 92 State Statutes, and Chapter ATCP 50 Administrative Code, SWRM provides annual staffing grants for LWCD staff, as well as cost-share grants for landowners to implement conservation practices.

Nonpoint Source Administrative Rules

The LWCD assists with the implementation and compliance of the following Administrative Rules:

NR 151 - Runoff Management (Performance Standards & Prohibitions)

This chapter establishes minimum pollution performance standards for non-agricultural facilities, and performance standards and prohibitions for agricultural facilities and practices designed to achieve water quality standards.

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Legislature Website.

NR 153 - Targeted Runoff Management Grant Program

This chapter promotes the management of urban and rural nonpoint pollution sources in critical geographic locations where nonpoint source-related water quality problems and threats are most severe and control is most feasible.

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Legislature Website.

NR 243 - Animal Feeding Operations

The purpose of this chapter is to implement design standards and accepted management practices and to establish permit requirements and the basis for issuing permits. This chapter also establishes the criteria under which the DNR may issue a notice of discharge or a permit to other animal feeding operations that discharge pollutants to the waters of the State or fail to comply with applicable performance standards and prohibitions.

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Legislature Website.

Animal Manure Storage & Nutrient Management Ordinance

An Animal Manure Storage Permit must be obtained from the LWCD prior to constructing, altering, or abandoning a manure storage facility. The current version of the Ordinance was approved by the County Board on March 21, 2006, and revised on July 21, 2015, and December 19, 2017.

Portage County Lakes Study & Planning

During the three-year Lakes Study project, twenty-nine Portage County lakes were studied for water quality, fish and aquatic organisms, wildlife, and land use. Planning committees for each of the lakes were formed, consisting of interested landowners and citizens, sports clubs, and municipal officers, with the County, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), and DNR professionals providing information and support. Using the data from the Lakes Study project and information collected from surveys of watershed citizens, management plans were developed for all the lakes and are currently being updated.

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program

Access the Golden Sands RC&D AIS Webpage. From there, click on the Portage County AIS link to find out what is going on specifically in Portage County.

Farmland Preservation Program/Working Lands Initiative (FPP/WLI)

The Portage County Board of Supervisors adopted the 2016 Farmland Preservation Plan (PDF) on November 10, 2016. For more information on Wisconsin DATCP's Farmland Preservation Program, visit the DATCP Website.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

CREP is a joint effort between the Federal, State, and County governments to complement working agriculture and the protection of Wisconsin's soils and water resources. Financial incentives of CREP include cost sharing of conservation practice installation, upfront incentive payments, and annual soil rental payments. For more information, visit the DATCP Website.

The Wisconsin Shoreline Stabilization Outreach Project

Shoreline Stabilization Guide for Homeowners (PDF) provides basic information to lake property owners about shoreline erosion and potential options for addressing those erosion problems. Before starting any alteration of shoreline property, make sure you have any required permits. Contact the Land and Water Conservation Division for information and assistance at 715-346-1334.

Technical Assistance

LWCD staff is available to assist landowners in:

  • Conducting resource inventories, including soils, drainage, topography, water resources, land use, and vegetation through on-site visits or map interpretations.
  • Providing engineering and designs for construction projects, including site surveys, soil profile analysis, runoff and flow calculations, and the preparation of construction drawings.
  • Supervising the installation of conservation practices.
  • Administering local regulations aimed to prevent water pollution from construction site erosion, urban stormwater runoff, and manure storage facilities.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available for installing best management practices through local, State, or Federal grant sources. LWCD staff can assist in researching available funds.

Web Soil Survey