Wisconsin Standards Oversight Council Celebrates 25 Years of Interagency Partnership

 ∼ 25 Years of collaboration with quality, uniformity, and accountability result in technical standards that protect Wisconsin’s natural resources.

MADISON – 2021 marks the 25th anniversary for the Wisconsin Standards Oversight Council (SOC), a collective partnership among conservation agencies to develop and maintain Wisconsin’s technical standards for soil and water conservation practices. The unique partnership in SOC ensures uniform, science-based technical standards to support a wide variety of federal, state and local conservation programs.

Prior to the creation of SOC, technical standards were developed internally and without broader participation, which often resulted in a variety of challenges.  In 1996, the various partners established the Standards Oversight Council to better coordinate the development and revision of technical standards related to agricultural and urban stormwater runoff practices.

“The underlying idea of SOC is that it is practical and efficient for stakeholders to collaborate in service of developing functional and sensible standards,” said WI Land+Water Executive Director Matt Krueger. “It is truly a model of good governance, and is a program with which WI Land+Water is proud to be affiliated.”

SOC’s 25th anniversary—and the importance of collaboration—was reinforced by renewing a Memorandum of Agreement in 2020, signed by conservation leaders in Wisconsin including Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), UW-Madison Division of Extension, Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (WisDOT), and WI Land+Water.

“The Standards Oversight Council creates partnerships between stakeholders that may not have otherwise been established,” said Shannon Haydin, Storm Water Runoff Section Chief with DNR. “Together, government agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resources, and its external partners, oftentimes within the regulated