The District is pleased to announce that Maggie Karschnia (above left), Water Resources Project Manager, has been awarded the 2020 Outstanding Watershed District Employee by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). The award was announced this month at Minnesota Association of Watershed District (MAWD) annual conference which was held virtually this year.
“Local staff is key to effective conservation delivery in Minnesota,” said John Jaschke, Executive Director of BSWR. “Maggie Karschnia’s dedication to preserving our water resources is commendable, and we appreciate all she does to further resource conservation.”
Currently serving as the Interim District Administrator as well as continuing her work as Water Resources Project Manager, Maggie joined the District in 2015 and took off running. She has transformed the the District’s carp management program, growing it into a curve-setting and award-winning program. This year the District’s carp management program was chosen as the 2020 MAWD Program of the Year, thanks in part to Maggie’s willingness to experiment with innovative techniques to catch carp. Maggie spearheaded the development of the District’s Integrated Carp Management Plan which outlines the District’s strategy to reduce carp populations in District lakes, including Spring Lake and Upper Prior Lake which are impaired for water quality.
Maggie put her conservation easement expertise to work, revamping the District’s conservation easement program to ensure more effective monitoring and compliance with wetland buffer protections to better protect local wetlands. Furthermore, Maggie energized and grew the Farmer-Led Council, a group of farmers with farming operations in the District. Under her guidance, the FLC has helped local farmers pioneer up-and-coming farming techniques such as cover crops and variable rate application to improve their farming operations and reduce nutrient runoff from their farms.
“Maggie has an unwavering ability to recognize what needs to be done,” said Diane Lynch, former PLSLWD district administrator, who retired in November. “She’s a scientist, she’s an environmental educator, she’s a great project manager and a leader in so many ways.”
Each year, BWSR celebrates the excellent work accomplished by local government staff to advance conservation efforts across the state. An award for Outstanding Soil and Water Conservation District Employee is also presented each year.