Upper Watershed Land Management
The Coon Creek Watershed is nationally recognized for the effectiveness of implementing land treatment to reduce runoff. The lessons learned were implemented in the West Fork Kickapoo watershed and surrounding areas as well.
Conservation programs and land treatment in the upper watershed have a substantial effect in reducing floods in the valleys. A 1996 study by William Krug, USGS, showed the effectiveness of land treatment in reducing peak flood discharges in Coon Valley between two time periods; 1930s (early) and 1970s (late). Land treatment was credited with reducing peak flood discharges by 43 to 72% for the various storm frequencies. Watershed dams (14) were credited with reducing the peak flood discharges 5 to 10%.
Land treatment improvements since the 1930’s have been the most influential factor in flood reduction in the valleys. The big gains in land treatment have been attained by the agricultural community. Those gains must be maintained to protect the most substantial reductions in flood flows. Moving forward, practical improvements in land treatment are needed and encouraged, but the effect of those improvements would not be sufficient to replace the localized effects of a watershed dam.
This watershed plan will model the effects of further reductions in runoff curve number based on practical changes in land treatment and cover conditions. Upland land management strategies are critical because decommissioning dams will expose valley properties to the full brunt of uncontrolled, upland runoff.