Classified under MN State Statute Chapter 103C, soil and water conservation districts are governmental and political subdivisions of the state. Their broad charge is to protect public health, safety, and welfare through soil and water conservation. Functions include leadership, coordination and services.
A SWCD is a legal body accountable to the public through general elections. Five supervisors are elected to their position, govern the SWCDs and work in cooperation with state and federal conservation agencies. The SWCD is charged with encouraging local landowners to conserve the soil and water resources by implementing conservation practices that reduce or prevent erosion, sedimentation, siltation and agriculturally-related pollution in order to preserve our natural resources, ensure continued soil productivity, control floods, preserve wildlife, protect the tax base and protect public lands.
SWCDs have a sound accounting system and audit process. *Grantors such as the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) audit programs and projects. SWCDs were created by the people and rely on public funds, including those from counties, state and local sources. District boards are capable of setting priorities as seen through their development of annual work plans that set policy direction for their staff.