Wetlands & Water Planning

Planning and Zoning

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 - Mara Jade, Water Resources 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 
https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/watersheds/nemadji-river watersheds.

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.

Wetland Types

Links and Resources

Contact Us

HOURS: Monday thru Friday
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

Office Location
1610 Hwy 23 North
Sandstone, MN 55072
P: (320) 216-4220
F: (320) 216-4244 
E: jeremy.williamson@co.pine.mn.us