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Minnesota Buffer Law


In June of 2015, Governor Dayton signed into law a new buffer initiative with the main focus aimed at enhancing the protection of Minnesota’s waters. The new buffer initiative will help aid in the protection of the state’s water resources from erosion and pollution runoff by establishing an estimated 110,000 acres of buffer along public waterways and public ditches.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), which will oversee the process, are working to gather more details about the program. Currently the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) is reviewing the comments made on the buffer map and expects a “Field Ready Buffer Map” to be released July 2016.

Many questions about the Buffer Law have come up from landowners and feel free to come into the office, give a call or email with any questions or concerns. Communication is important at this time between landowners/operators and the Soil and Water Conservation District. Landowners/operators voluntarily coming in are important to get a head start and become aware of the law. We are here to provide any technical assistance, help find financial assistance, assist with implementation and tracking progress towards compliance. We are looking forward to working with everyone and putting conservation on the ground. Below are links to additional information regarding the Buffer Law.

Open for public comment is the draft Policy 9 and the draft Administrative Penalty Order Plan until 4:30pm on May 3, 2017. Please read through the two drafts and make any comments. If any questions, please contact the SWCD office. The two drafts can be found on the BWSR website.

Minnesota DNR Buffer Map

Watonwan County Buffer Map

For more information about the buffer law please visit BWSR

For more information on the DNR mapping process

Watonwan County has a Great Plains 1006NT Seed Drill available to rent. More information.

Contact Information
For more information please contact
Chad Hildebrand-District Technician
Phone: (507) 375-2552
Email Me

Office address:
108 8th St. S. Suite 2
St. James, MN 56081