Soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) will perform compliance reviews with the following considerations:

  1. An overall status of “Compliant” or “Not Compliant” will be determined and tracked on a parcel basis as identified by a unique locally defined property identification number or description.
  2. Each bank, or edge, of a water body within an individual parcel will be reviewed independently to determine if a compliant buffer or alternative practice(s) has been installed.


The Buffer Law establishes buffer widths or required alternative water quality practices based on the classification of the waters identified on the Buffer Protection Maps.

It is the landowner’s responsibility to establish and maintain a buffer or alternative practice.

Program Need:

  1. Landowners subject to monitoring or corrective actions need to know at what scale those determinations will occur.
  2. It provides a consistent framework for the scale at which the Counties, SWCDs and Watershed Districts and BWSR will determine buffer compliance.It provides a consistent legal basis for the SWCD to issue a validation of compliance if requested by a landowner.

Statutory Basis