"To Promote Conservation of Natural Resources through Education, Technical Assistance, & Stewardship."


Pipestone County Conservation & Zoning

119 2nd Ave. S.W. Suite #13

Pipestone, MN 56164


8:00am to 4:30pm  Monday - Friday

Phone: 507-825-1185

Fax: 507-825-6782

Pipestone SWCD Monitoring and Compliance Plan


To ensure riparian protections continue to exist, compliance tracking of all parcels in Pipestone County subject to the Buffer Law will be monitored at least once every three years starting November 2, 2018 and upon release of new, updated, aerial imagery. Means of compliance tracking may include, but is not limited to: use of available imagery sources, field visits, etc…

At any point in time, the SWCD may complete compliance spot checks at random and for any reason, conduct field reviews, handle complaints whenever necessary, and issue a validation of compliance if requested. 

DNR Buffer Map Update!

Click on the link above to learn more about where the DNR is at with creating the Official State Buffer Map

How do Buffers help?
  • Slow water runoff
  • Trap sediment and dust
  • Trap fertilizers and pesticides
  • Protect wildlife and livestock from harsh weather
  • Reduce winds, noise and odors
  • Provide food, nesting cover and shelter for many wildlife species
  • Increase privacy and beautify the countryside
Where are Buffers needed?
  • Along streams, lakes, ponds, and wetlands
  • Next to roads and driveways
  • Along parking lots
  • Along and in agricultural fields
  • Around residential and commercial property
  • Any other area that can serve to filter runoff and pollutants before they reach a water body

Where can farmers find assistance?

Farmers may find information related to installing and funding buffer strips by contacting our office.

Information about funding through the  Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is  available from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) web site: www.nrcs.usda.gov
For more information on drainage ditch buffers, see the Board of Water and Soil Resources website for a copy of the 2006 Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study  www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Alternative Practices

Conservation buffers are best described as strips or other areas of land in permanent vegetation that help control pollutants and manage other environmental concerns. Filter strips, riparian buffers (predominantly trees and shrubs next to water courses), field borders, grassed waterways, field windbreaks, and contour grass strips are all examples of conservation buffers.

  • Decision Support Tool Quick Start Guide (Required Read) New!
  • Decision Support Tool Considerations (Required Read) New!
  • Decision Support Tool Example New!
  • Decision Support Tool New!
  • AgroEcoregions of Minnesota Spatial Data New!

Types of Buffers

  • Riparian Buffers

  • Filter Strips

  • Grassed Waterways

  • Contour Grass Strip

  • Field Borders

  • Field Windbreaks

Contact us for Support

Nicole from the Soil and Water Conservation District is here to assist landowners and operators! If you find yourself needing answers to your questions please give Nicole a call or stop by our office.

Minnesota's buffer law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along lakes, rivers, and streams and buffers of 16.5 feet along ditches. These buffers will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment. The deadline for implementation for buffers on public waters is November 1, 2017. The deadline for public ditches is November 1, 2018. The law provides flexibility for landowners to install alternative practices with equivalent water quality benefits that are based on the Natural Resources Conservation Service Field Office Technical Guide.

The Buffer Law that was signed into law by Governor Dayton in June 2015 with the latest amendment being signed by Governor Dayton on May 30, 2017. 

Buffer Law as Amended in 2017

Minnesota Buffer Law

Does this Apply to my Land?

In 2016 the Pipestone SWCD sent letters to landowners notifying them if they would be effected by the buffer law. A second letter and map was sent to those who were identified with areas of land that were in need of a buffer.

​Buffer Map