Pine County is the local government unit (LGU) responsible for administration and enforcement of the Wetland Conservation Act.
Landowners considering any construction or alteration within wetland areas should contact the Pine County Planning & Zoning Department.
Learn more about the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) - Program Guidance and Information.
In almost all cases, draining, filling or altering a wetland will require a permit or some other authorization in Minnesota; applicants will often need to show efforts to avoid wetlands and may be required to replace drained or filled wetland area. This includes the digging of or maintenance of ponds and drainage ditches. The following agencies will typically be involved:
- Pine County - Jeremy Williamson, Environmental Technician/Wetland Specialist (320) 591-1649
- Pine Soil and Water Conservation District - Zach Van Orsdel, District Technician (320) 216-4242
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources -
- The United States Army Corps of Engineers -
Water & Watersheds
Lakes and rivers are prominent features in the glaciated landscape of the Upper Midwest. They are valued resources for recreation, fisheries, wildlife, and leisure for lakeshore owners. Pine County is no exception boasting 11,596 acres of surface water that includes, the St. Croix River, 142 lakes over 10 acres, and miles of rivers, streams, and creeks. These rich water resources are all nestled into one of the 5 major Minnesota watersheds that meander their way through Pine County. These include: the Lower St. Croix River; Snake River - St. Croix Basin; Kettle River; and Upper St. Croix River, and Nemadji River
A watershed is an area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet such as the outflow of a reservoir, mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel and is often the common unit used for water quality and ecological management. Major watersheds can be further broken down into intermediate and minor watersheds and even down to catchments for an individual or a part of a single waterbody.
Water management concerns have been raised about the state of water resources and how to best manage them due to current, historical, and future land and resource use that is certain to see further change. The Planning and Zoning Department is helping address these concerns by being a member the One Watershed One Plan Framework for the major watersheds within the boundaries of Pine County. Additionally, Pine County is a member of the Snake River Watershed Management Board (SRWMB).
If you have questions about water & watershed planning and assessment, please contact our Environmental Technician Jeremy Williamson at (320) 591-1649.
Vegetation varies greatly according to season and duration of flooding: from bottomland hardwoods to herbaceous plants. Where the water has receded early in the growing season, smartweeds, wild millet, fall panicum, chufa, various amaranths and other plants (i.e. marsh elder, ragweed, and cockleburs) are likely to occur. Shallow basins that are submerged only very temporarily usually develop little or no wetland vegetation.
Links and Resources
Lower St. Croix One Watershed One Plan
Snake River One Watershed One Plan
Watershed General Info
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Water Quality Standards
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Water Quality Data
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Lake Monitoring
United States Geological Survey (USGS) Lake Monitoring
United States Geological Survey (USGS) Water Quality Data
United States Geological Survey (USGS) Water Quality Basics
EPA Water Quality Criteria
EPA Water Quality Standards
U of M Water Resources Center
U of M Water Resources Center Projects