About Stevens SWCD

SWCDs are local units of government that manage and direct natural resource management programs at the local level. Districts work with landowners in both rural and urban settings to carry out a program for the conservation, use, and development of soil, water, and related resources.

Districts fill the crucial niche of providing soil and water conservation services to owners of private lands. Privately owned lands make up 78 percent of the land surface in Minnesota. Private landowners receive trusted conservation advice and assistance from SWCDs, which are governed by local leaders and focused on the conservation and other needs specific to the area they serve.

Stevens SWCD employs a staff of 7 regular full and part-time staff and additional seasonal part-time employees to accomplish our mission, along with additional seasonal help. We work, many times in partnership with other conservation agencies and groups, to carry out important duties such as these:

  • Assist with Buffer Law compliance in Stevens County
  • Work with the Stevens County Environmental Services Coordinator to co-administer the Wetland Conservation Act in Stevens County
  • Serve on the County Local Water Management Plan committee
  • Work with agencies such as BWSR, NRCS and FSA to promote CRP, WRP/RIM and various other conservation programs in Stevens County and assist landowners with sign-ups into these programs
  • Provide educational opportunities for youth and adults in Stevens County
  • Provide planning and design of conservation projects and perform tree and grass planting and maintenance services
  • Work with the MPCA and other counties within the watershed to coordinate watershed activities including TMDL studies and implementation plans and various water quality and quantity monitoring activities
  • Administer the Aquatic Invasive Species promotion project in Stevens County

2021 In Review

Each year, the Stevens SWCD sets measurable goals and long-range plans for conservation issues in Stevens County. Specific activities and accomplishments for 2021 include:

  • Co-coordinated a virtual Envirothon for high school and junior high students in the state of Minnesota.
  • Co-coordinated the Pope & Stevens Conservation Day
  • Co-coordinated the Pope & Stevens Water Fest
  • Coordinated several presentations related to conservation or natural resources for elementary school classrooms in the county
  • Planted almost 4000 trees on farmstead windbreaks on 22 sites and installed 32,000 feet of fabric mulch
  • Planted about 585 acres of new and re-enrolled acres to native grasses on 80 sites in Stevens County
  • Planted five rain gardens on four sites throughout the county
  • Assisted with the enrollment of about 925 acres of new and re-enrolled CRP
  • Administered State Cost Share and District Capacity cost share programs in Stevens County, disbursing funding to landowners who installed conservation projects and allocating funding to additional future projects
  • Administered the Wetland Conservation Act in Stevens County
  • Assisted landowners with Buffer Law compliance and monitored required buffers in Stevens County, maintaining 99% compliance in 2021
  • Administered the County Local Water Management plan in Stevens County
  • Acted as fiscal agent for the Pomme de Terre Association Joint Powers Board and assisted the Watershed Project Coordinator, housed in this office, including continuing work related to several Clean Water Fund grants, federal 319 grants, a Clean Water Partnership grant, as well as other MPCA and state grants
  • Monitored wells, lakes and rivers for ground water levels
  • Assisted in the MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program, certifying one new farm as of the end of 2021.
  • Administered the county’s Aquatic Invasive Species grant activities within Stevens County.

Click here to read the Stevens SWCD 2021 Annual Review, published as a special section of the March 8, 2022 edition of the Stevens County Times.

Our Mission

The mission of the Stevens Soil & Water Conservation District is to work with county landowners in putting conservation practices on the land and to help all citizens be good stewards of our natural resources.