State w/SWCD on side  Helping Bring YOU Clean Water 200 S Co Hwy 5, Suite 2
Ivanhoe, MN  56142
507.694.1630 x3
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Minnesota Buffer Law

Do buffers really do anything?

For decades, buffers or filter strips have been installed to successfully reduce sediment and nutrients getting to streams. Buffers improve water quality, habitat, and recreation.

Where do I have to put buffers?

In Summer of 2016, the MNDNR will release offcial maps to the public and SWCDs across the state. When these maps come out we can give you offcial word on where you are required to buffer waters next to your land. If you are interested in buffering any waters on your land, the SWCD can assist you with that at any time.

What do I have to plant on the buffer?

The statute says “a perennially vegetated root” must be on the buffer area. Alfalfa is allowed specifically in the law. No invasive species may be present on the buffer. Existing grass, shrub, or forest cover is acceptable.

When do I have to have a buffer on my land?

On November 1, 2017 waters that require a 30 foot minimum and a 50 foot average per parcel will need to be buffered. On November 1, 2018 public drainage ditches that only require 16 ½ feet will need to be buffered.

Where can I learn more?

If you would like to know more about the new buffer law and find out how it applies to you, you can  check out or or contact Randy Kraus at the Lincoln SWCD at 507-694-1630, x114 or by email at


Click Here to View the MN DNR BUFFER MAP