This page contains various guidance, fact sheets and other information related to the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) program. Guidance specific to mitigation and banking can be found on the Mitigation and Banking page of the website Wetland Bank Guidance and Information.
Training videos on wetland identification and basic WCA administration are now available for viewing on the Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program Page.
WCA Topics of the Week
WCA topics of the week are a series of informal fact sheets that provide practical information on WCA program implementation in a question and answer format. They are intended to better clarify and summarize certain aspects of WCA implementation and should be considered as supplemental to WCA statutes, rules and any associated BWSR guidance and policy. Information in these fact sheets are subject to change over time.
Here are the most recent topics of the week:
WCA Wetland Determinations for Channels, Streams, Ditches 12-14-22 (pdf)
Wetland Classification Systems 6-27-22 (pdf)
Frequently Asked WCA Questions 7-8-21 (pdf)
A complete listing of past Topics of the Week can be found here.
WCA Exemptions Guidance and Policy
Federal Approvals Exemption for Utilities (pdf) - This document provides the standards and conditions for a WCA exemption from replacement under MN Rule Chapter 8420.0420, Subpart 4 (Federal Approvals). WCA rules for this exemption provision require the development of these conditions and standards, approval from BWSR, DNR, Dept. of Ag., and MPCA, and publication of a notice in the State Register. All steps have been completed and the exemption is valid unless and until superseded by future statute, rule or notice in the State Register.
Federal Approvals Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) - Memorandum of Understanding between BWSR, DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding implementation of the WCA Federal Approvals Exemption for Utilities referenced above.
Agricultural Bank Exemption - This is an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a WCA exemption for certain agricultural activities on agricultural land per MN Rule Chapter 8420.0420 Subpart 2 G. WCA rules for this exemption provision require the development of these conditions and standards, approval from BWSR, DNR, Dept. of Ag., and MPCA, and publication of a notice in the State Register. All steps have been completed and the exemption is valid unless and until superseded by future statute, rule or notice in the State Register.
Forestry Exemption Guidance for LGUs (pdf) (6/23/2004) - Guidance for LGUs for determining landowner qualification for the forestry exemptions (MN Rule Chapter 8420.0420, Subpart 7). Note that the rule citation in the guidance is outdated and the applicable citation in current WCA rule is 8420.0420, Subp. 7. The following links in the document our outdated, and can now be accessed here: Contractor Responsibility and Landowner Statement Form: Sustaining Minnesota Forest Resources: Voluntary Site-Level Forest Management Guidelines document.
WCA Administrative Procedures and Coordination Guidance and Policy
Decision Timelines (pdf) - Information about important WCA compliance timelines.
TEP Meetings Procedures and Timing (pdf) - Information and guidance on Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP) procedures and timing.
Coordination with the Public Waters Permit Program (pdf) (11/9/17) - Guidance on the interrelationships between WCA and the Public Waters Permit Program (PWPP). Compares and contrasts the two programs, covers waivers of regulatory authority, discusses DNR involvement in the WCA TEP, provides information on OHWL determinations and discusses public waters wetlands re-classifications.
Technical Guidance and Fact Sheets
Wetland Water Depth Guidance (pdf) (5/14/2021) - Guidance document intended to provide a practical standard for distinguishing wetlands from deepwater habitats for WCA implementation and compliance.
Solar Project Guidance (pdf) (5/14/2021) - This guidance document provides a suggested approach for evaluating projects for WCA compliance when they involve the installation of solar panels on posts/pilings.
Rare Natural Communities Technical Guidance (pdf) (11/7/17) - Guidance document identifying general factors for DNR to consider in identifying rare natural communities under the WCA and for LGUs to consider in determining when a proposed project will permanently adversely affect a rare natural community.
Drainage Project WCA Compliance Fact Sheet (pdf) (4/26/19) - Fact sheet identifying the type of information often needed to evaluate drainage projects for WCA compliance.