Does the City of Blaine have documentation that specifically states this land was in fact a wetland at one point in time?

Wetlands are defined as areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support (and that under normal circumstances do support) a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.  The Blaine Wetland Sanctuary meets the definition of a wetland because the soils are hydric, the plant species are hydrophytic and the area is saturated within 12 inches of the soil surface for more than 14 consecutive days during the growing season. (Definition provided by the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Plan).

A wetland delineation was completed by Critical Connections Ecological Services (CCES) for the entire 510 acre Blaine Wetland Sanctuary in the summer of 2014. This document is available from the engineering department at Blaine City Hall. The wetland delineation identified in the field areas of uplands and wetlands within the Blaine Wetland Sanctuary using wetland delineation pin flagging, and was recorded with sub-meter accuracy global positioning systems (GPS) equipment. This wetland delineation was reviewed and approved by local, state, and federal agencies. The 2014 wetland delineation determined that within the southern 220 acres of the Blaine Wetland Sanctuary, 75.5 acres are upland and 114.5 acres are wetland.

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1. Does the City of Blaine have documentation that specifically states this land was in fact a wetland at one point in time?
2. What is the long term plan if this restoration attempt fails?
3. Why allow all the development along 109th and Lexington if the goal is to restore/preserve wetlands?
4. Are there plans for housing or commercial development?
5. What is the process for moving from draft to finalized plan and homeowner’s participate in these conversations/decisions?
6. Will all the birds living in trees being cut down, want to live in the trees on my property?
7. What are the plans for the trees after they are cut down?
8. Why is the tree removal so important?
9. How many trees do you anticipate needing to remove and when will residents know how many trees and which trees will be removed?
10. Is the city planning on removing stumps from every tree that is cut down?
11. What is the process or technique for the buckthorn removal?
12. How effective is this buckthorn removal method?
13. What is the plan to continue to remove the buckthorn as it regrows?
14. Is there a larger map of the invasive species?
15. Is there an opportunity to more fully address the buckthorn problem with this project by expanding project to include private property at the request of homeowners?
16. How will the regrowth of invasive species be managed?
17. What affect does all the chemical treatment of yards in the developments have on the wetlands?
18. Dependency on herbicides is concerning, especially since many homes bordering this area have wells. Can buckthorn and reed canary grass be controlled by other means?
19. Will there be an effort made to maintain a buffer of trees adjacent to homeowner’s properties?
20. Who is responsible for the potential loss in property value as a result of the proposed plan?
21. If resident owned land is disturbed, what is the plan for the city to reconstruct our existing landscape?
22. Will the small strip of land that is a part of the southern portion but detached from the rest of the portion be included in the restoration?
23. How close is the proposed trail or path to the back of private property?
24. What has been feedback from communities surrounding the northern portion of the wetland sanctuary that have already been affected by the tree removal?
25. Won’t the removal of trees and leaving the grasses increase the fire danger in this southern area?
26. Does the city have liability insurance to protect home owners when they do controlled burns?
27. How often will controlled burns occur?
28. How is the grant funding being applied (e.g. square foot of reconstruction, per acre,…)?