Public Invited to Weigh In on Proposed Marathon County Land & Water Resource Management Plan 2021–2030

Written by Paul Daigle

The goals of the Marathon County Land & Water Resource Management (LWRM) Plan 2021–2030 embody a vision of the county’s future to support resilient rural economic growth and development while improving the county’s land and water quality. The initiatives found within the plan will guide the Conservation, Planning & Zoning Department’s Land and Water Program over the next 10 years, from 2021 through the year 2030.

The proposed plan provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the county’s land and water resources, including areas for continued protection and improvement. It also includes of full listing of accomplishments from the previous 10 years, a framework of outcome-based goals, and a realistic implementation plan.

Local stream with proper vegetated riparian buffer. (Photo courtesy of CPZ.)

If this plan is fully implemented, it will protect the land and water quality where they are of high quality, and in portions of the county where they are impaired, it provides realistic plans to make improvements.

This plan will place greater emphasis on:

  • New and innovative community engagement strategies
  • Soil health principles
  • Setbacks to waterbodies
  • Applicable performance standards and prohibitions

The outcome of the plan is to greatly increase the use of proven best management practices not only on croplands, but also adjacent to shorelands, stormwater, and any major land disturbance activity that can contribute to sediment and nutrient loadings into the water in order to align with applicable Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports and help meet plan goals.

Plan goals include the following:

Goal 1: Land resources are improved and protected county-wide.

Goal 2: Surface water quality is improved and protected.

Goal 3: Groundwater quality and quantity is improved and protected.

Goal 4: Actively educate and engage all community stakeholders to develop an understanding of land, surface water, and groundwater quality concerns.

No till farming
No-till farming is a practice that protects soil from erosion and runoff. (Photo courtesy of CPZ.)

This latest draft of the LWRM Plan is the product of the collaborative efforts of many individuals representing Marathon County Government, conservation agencies, local watershed groups, farmers, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, representatives from the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Services, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension who assisted staff in formulating this plan.

Visit to find links to the full plan, an executive summary, a narrated PowerPoint presentation, and information for attending public hearings and other meetings related to the LWRM Plan.

Please email comments or questions regarding the proposed plan to or mail them to:

Paul Daigle
Marathon County Conservation, Planning, and Zoning
210 River Drive
Wausau, WI 54403


Paul Daigle

Land & Water Program Director  |  Marathon County Conservation, Planning & Zoning Department

Paul Daigle is the Land & Water Program Director for the Marathon County Conservation, Planning & Zoning Department, where he currently oversees the operation and management of the conservation, zoning, non-metallic mining, and private on-site wastewater programs. He leads and manages a dedicated and passionate group of 14 professional staff, who come to work each day to protect and enhance Marathon County’s land and environment. He began his career with Marathon County in 1991 and has held various positions within the Department over the last 30 years, including working in LaCrosse County and Carroll County, Il. Paul obtained a degree in Water Resources and Soil Science from UW-Stevens Point and is a licensed Professional Soil Scientist and Hydrologist. Paul enjoys the outdoors of Northcentral Wisconsin with his wife, daughter, and extended family.  Email Paul Daigle

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