Buffer Law

In June 2015, Governor Dayton signed into law a buffer initiative aimed at enhancing protection of Minnesota’s waters.

What is required?
  • An average of 50 feet on public waters.
  • A minimum of 16.5 feet on public ditches.
When did this take effect?
  • November 1, 2017 - public waters deadline.
  • November 1, 2018 - public ditches deadline.
Compliance is the Goal

While we strive to gain 100% voluntary compliance, in some cases, enforcement action may be needed. The SWCD is tasked with determining individual compliance and assisting landowners with ways to come into compliance with the law if a buffer or alternative practice is missing. If a landowner is unresponsive or unwilling to cooperate, the SWCD is then tasked with notifying the county, who has enforcement jurisdiction. The county will then engage in enforcement proceedings with the owner of the parcel in question.