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Who we are

BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency charged with helping meet the state's goals for clean water, clean air, and abundant fish and wildlife. The 78% of state land that is held in private ownership -- farms, forests, and urban areas -- contribute greatly to the production of environmental goods and benefits including cleaner air and water, fish and wildlife habitat, and preservation of open spaces. 

Staff members in Bemidji, Brainerd, Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Mankato, Marshall, Rochester, St. Paul, and Waite Park provide grants, technical assistance, and training to local entities for projects with landowners and conservation groups to:

  • Prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams
  • Enhance fish and wildlife habitat
  • Protect wetlands 

The local-state conservation delivery system ensures that state policy is implemented with local issues and problems in mind -- and our work together has improved and protected Minnesota’s water and soil resources in spite of intensified agriculture, greater demands for forest products, and rapid urbanization in many parts of the state.

Our Vision

All of Minnesota benefits from lands and waters that are ecologically and economically sustainable.

Our Mission

BWSR's mission is to work with partners to improve and protect Minnesota's land and water resources. Core functions include implementing the state's soil and water conservation policy, comprehensive local water management, and the Wetland Conservation Act as it relates to the 41.7 million acres of private land in Minnesota.


The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) consists of 20 members. Members can be citizens, state agency staff, or local government representatives that deliver BWSR programs. The board is the state's administrative agency for soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, metropolitan watershed management organizations, and counties responsible for land and water management. The board sets a policy agenda designed to enhance conservation delivery through these governmental partners. Board members, including the board chair, are appointed by the governor to staggered four-year terms.

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

The Board of Water and Soil Resources is committed to Minnesota’s statewide affirmative action efforts and providing equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants in accordance with equal opportunity and affirmative action laws.