Wetlands and Water Planning

Planning and Zoning


Wetlands are a prominent feature in Pine County.  Unlike much of the State of Minnesota, over 80% of pre-settlement Pine County wetlands remain in place and have not been filled or drained.  Pre-settlement generally refers to the period in history before settlers moved into the area and cities and towns were established. 

The State of Minnesota has adopted stringent rules and laws to protect wetlands.  The State of Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is the primary State agency that works with wetland matters.  BWSR maintains extensive wetland rules, regulations, and information at their Wetlands Web Site.  An overview of wetlands and wetlands regulation in Minnesota; Department of Natural Resources Permits; Wetland Conservation Act Determinations; and United States Army Corps of Engineers Permits as well as other sources of information can be viewed by reviewing the  Wetlands Overview  document at the bottom of this page. 

Local Government Units (LGU's) such as Pine County also play a part in administering wetland rules.  Effective 4/13/2018, permitting for work involving wetlands is administered at the Pine County Planning and Zoning office.

Adhering to State of Minnesota wetland regulations can be complex.  If you are constructing a driveway, building a roadway, digging a pond, or causing any landscape alterations in or near a wetland or wet area please contact our office prior to starting any work.


Lakes, streams, rivers, and other water features are also very prominent in Pine County.  Through the work and coordination of the local Soil & Water Conservation District and many volunteers, an updated Pine County Local Water Management Plan has been adopted.  We encourage you to view the plan by clicking the link.  Please contact the SWCD or visit their website for additional information.   

The Department of Natural Resources mapping and identification of Public Waters throughout Pine County can be viewed by clicking this Pine County Public Waters Map link or by selecting the document at the bottom of this page.


Minnesota has 81 major watersheds.  Each one is defined by rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands.  In Pine County the major watersheds include: Lower St. Croix River; Snake River - St. Croix Basin; Kettle River; and Upper St. Croix River.  To view maps and learn more about watersheds please visit the MN Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Watershed Page  

Through a Joint Powers Agreement, Pine County is one of four (4) county board members in the Snake River Watershed Management Board (SRWMB). The Snake River Watershed consists of 1006 square miles, within portions of Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and PineCounties.  Click here for a SRWM map or view the Snake River - St. Croix Basin link in the preceeding paragraph. 

The purpose of the SRWMB is to develop and implement plans for the Snake River Watersheds to:

  • Protect property, streams and lakes from sedimentation and pollution
  • Maintain and improve the quality of water in streams, lakes, and ground water
  • Protect property from  flood damages
  • Control erosion of land
  • Improve recreational and wildlife opportunities


In June 2011 the Department of Natural Resources provided Pine County with a revised Public Waters Inventory (PWI) map.  Minnesota Statute 103G.201 requires the DNR Commissioner to notify the county auditor when changes are made to the county PWI map. 

This revised PDF map, which may change in the future, is dated to indicate the most current version and is available by clicking the document at the bottom of this page. 

If you have any questions about the PWI map or program please contact Glenn Radde (Glenn.Radde@state.mn.us or at 651-259-5690) or Tom Hovey (Tom.Hovey@state.mn.us or at 651-259-5654) respectively.

MN Wetland Rules & Regulations BWSR 2003 Overview
Pine County Public Waters 2011May20