Best Management Practices for Your Lot


What you do on your lot has the potential to have a detrimental impact on the lake and those who use the lake. The following are what can be termed "best management practices" for your lot. Limit hard (impervious) surfaces that prevent water from seeping into the ground. Water that does not seep into the ground on your property has the potential of entering the lake. The greater the impervious surface area, the greater the volume and velocity of the water that runs off of those surfaces. Runoff water containing nutrients, sediments and other pollutants is detrimental to the water quality of the lake.
Flower Area
Minimize the amount of exposed soil on your lot to avoid soil erosion. Exposed soils in contact with water have the potential to move (erode). Exposed soils can be created by major projects such as excavating for a new home or the grading of a driveway, or they can be created by relatively minor activities such as creating a garden or pathways. Following good soil disturbance and erosion control practices will minimize the impact of soil erosion on the lake:
  • Disturb the smallest area possible.
  • Do not clear or grade on slopes unless absolutely necessary.
  • Layout paths, walkways and stairways to minimize soil disturbance.
  • Properly install and then maintain erosion control barriers such as silt fencing or straw bales.
  • Seed the area as soon as possible and immediately mulch the seeded area.
  • Protect trees from damage.
    • Maintain natural buffer zones of native trees, shrubs and vegetation.

Shoreline Vegetation Protection Area (SVPA)

Have an intact SVPA, this 35 foot deep strip of land along the shoreline serves a number of purposes. It minimizes runoff into the lake and it provides food, cover and habitat for birds and wildlife. Additionally, trees within this area screen the buildings on the lot from the view of those using the lake, additional helpful reminders include:
  • While the shoreland zoning ordinance allows for up to a 30 foot wide access corridor to the lake through the SVPA, it is not usually necessary that an entire 30 foot wide corridor be created.
  • Pathways can meander between trees and then be covered with chips or mulch to minimize erosion.
  • Remove only dead and diseased trees and noxious vegetation from the SVPA.
  • Remember, unless specifically exempted by the ordinance, the removal of trees, shrubs and ground cover, mowing and filling, grading and other land disturbing activities are prohibited within the SVPA.
  • Restore an incomplete SVPA. If your lot does not contain a complete SVPA (i.e., contains a viable mix of native ground cover, shrubs and trees) you have the option of restoring this area through the planting of species native to this area. The Sawyer County Land and Water Conservation Department can provide restoration advice and a listing of native vegetation, shrubs and trees that would be appropriate for your site.