2016 BWSR Board Meeting Schedule
Fourth Wednesday of the month unless noted:
February - no meeting
July - no meeting
November - no meeting
August 24-25 - tour and meeting
BWSR funding is primarily from the General Fund. The majority of the funds are passed through to local government to administer state policies and programs that improve and protect water and soil resources. Outcomes are evaluated to ensure conservation policy objectives are attained and that resources are expended to assure program success. BWSR also has received dollars through funds established by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment (approved by voters in 2008).
- Board Member Directory (September 2015)
- Member Location Map
- BWSR Committees (overview and membership of BWSR committees)
- Advisors (list of individuals and organizations that serve as advisors)
Publications and Reports
- BWSR Strategic Plan
- Minnesota Governance for Water Management and Drainage
- Mission / Overview
- Featured Projects
- Research (BWSR collaborates with research institutions that are seeking to improve the environmental outcomes of conservation practices, especially those that protect and improve water quality)
- More publications and reports
Mission / Overview
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources consists of 20 members, including local government representatives that deliver BWSR programs, state agencies, and citizens. The board sets a policy agenda designed to enhance service delivery though the use of local government. Board members, including the board chair, are appointed by the governor to four-year terms.
The board is the state's administrative agency for 90 soil and water conservation districts, 46 watershed districts, 23 metropolitan watershed management organizations, and 80 county water managers.
The BWSR mission is to improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. Core functions include implementing the state's soil and water conservation policy, comprehensive local water management, and the Wetland Conservation Act as it relates to the 41.7 million acres of private land in Minnesota.
Because 78 percent of the state's land is held in private ownership, BWSR's focus on private lands is critical to attaining the state's goals for clean water, clean air, and abundant fish and wildlife. Managed wisely, these working lands - Minnesota's farms, forests, and urban areas - contribute greatly to the production of environmental goods and benefits including cleaner air and water, fish and wildlife habitat, and preservation of open spaces.
Agency programs to assist landowners and local government have resulted in less sediment and nutrients entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; more fish and wildlife habitat; and the drastic slowing of wetland losses. These have been realized in spite of intensification of agriculture, greater demands for forest products, and rapid urbanization in many parts of the state.
BWSR's mission is implemented through the following core functions:
- To function as the state soil conservation agency. (M.S. 103B.101)
- To direct private land soil and water conservation programs through the action of SWCDs, counties, cities, townships, watershed districts, and water management organizations. (M.S. 103C, 103D, 103F)
- To link water resource planning with comprehensive land use planning. (M.S. 103B)
- To provide resolution of water policy conflicts and issues. (M.S. 103A.211, 103A.305, 103A.315, 103A.311)
- To implement the comprehensive local water management acts. (M.S. 103B.201, 103B.255, 103B.301)
- To provide the forum (through the board) for local issues, priorities, and opportunities to be incorporated into state public policy. (M.S. 103B.101)
- To administer for the Wetland Conservation Act. (M.S. 103G)
- To coordinate state and federal resources to realize local priorities.
Staff members are located in nine field offices throughout the state in Bemidji, Brainerd, Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Mankato, Marshall, New Ulm, Rochester, and St. Paul (central office and metro field office). Agency staff provide technical and financial assistance to local governments to plan and implement agency policy on private lands.
The local-state conservation delivery system provides an opportunity to partner state, federal, local, and private resources to private lands projects that help maintain water quality, prevent soil loss and erosion, plan for land use, and protect wetlands. These partnerships in service delivery ensure that the interest of state policy is implemented with local issues and problems in mind.
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources was created in 1987, when the Legislature combined the Soil and Water Conservation Board with two other organizations with local government and natural resource ties: the Water Resources Board (established in 1955) and the Southern Minnesota Rivers Basin Council (established in 1971). In October 2012, the BWSR celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Visit the history page to learn much more about the BWSR and view a slideshow.
Committee Meeting Notices
NOTE: The public may be required to provide identification to enter a secured building.
Southern Region Committee Meeting
DATE: Thursday, April 7, 2016
TIME: 9:30 AM-NOON (tentative)
LOCATION: BWSR Office, 21371 State Highway 15, New Ulm
CONTACT: Jeff Nielsen, 507-359-6075 or firstname.lastname@example.org