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Minnesota Graphic Minnesota Wetland Report

X. Further Needs and Analysis

Although completion of the NWI digitization represented a giant leap forward in wetland data analysis, it is based on photography that in many cases is more than 15 years old and it does not provide the ability to compare present and past conditions to generate guidance for the future. Digitally updating the NWI, beginning with the areas of the state experiencing the greatest land use change, would give citizens and staff of local, state and federal governments modern information and might provide some trend analysis in areas where the original maps were developed using methods consistent with today’s techniques.  When digitized soil data is available statewide, a thorough analysis will be possible.  Until then, local governments with access to data developed through local studies may be able to use this information to analyze trends, inventory drained/filled wetlands and prepare local wetland plans. Meanwhile, state efforts will focus on refinement of existing data to assess information on a variety of aspects of wetlands, including subwatersheds, eco-regions, ownership, basin size, conservation program results, and regulatory program effectiveness.

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