- Board & Staff
- Grant Reports
- Technical Service Area
Who we are and what we do...
The Beltrami Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is a locally organized, self-governing body chartered by the State of Minnesota. We are statutorily charged with the protection of Beltrami County's soil and water resources and have been active since 1950 when our initial certificate of organization was issued by the Secretary of State. We deliver a wide variety of programs and services in response to the agricultural, environmental, and recreational needs of private landowners.
Beltrami SWCD is accountable for all its activities, being independently audited with review by the State Auditor's Office. We receive very little direct state funding and generate the majority of our operating budget from special project grants, sale of trees, and contracts for services.
We are not a county, state, or federal agency although we work closely with partners at each of these levels. We are not part of the DNR. We are sanctioned by the State of Minnesota but do not receive our payroll from the state as do other state agencies. SWCD staff are not considered to be state employees. Because of our unique status, we are ideally positioned to foster cooperative collaborations between private land owners and governmental agencies from the local to the national level.
In 2010, a cooperative agreement was entered into between the SWCD and the Beltrami County Board. The agreement highlights a collaborative partnership to achieve efficiencies and improved delivery of environmental conservation programs.
As we look to the future, we see the continued need for environmental conservation. We will assist landowners with their concerns while protecting the natural resources of Beltrami County. Stop in to say hello and talk about your conservation needs!
The organization of the Beltrami County Soil Conservation District (changed to Soil and Water Conservation District in 1958) was motivated by conservation issues such as drainage, low soil fertility, water erosion, poor pastures, forest management, and wildlife and recreation needs. In March of 1950, a certificate of organization was issued by the State, the result of the efforts of county farmers, the Veteran's agricultural classes and instructors, businessmen, and the Agricultural Extension Service. Twenty-one townships in central north-east part of the county comprised the District in 1950, and the office with two part-time employees was located in Kelliher. The remaining southern townships were included in 1954 as was the Red Lake Indian Reservation in 1969. The townships north of Upper Red Lake were included in 1972 and the northwest twelve townships were included in 2010.
Board of Supervisors
We are governed by a Board of four publicly elected Superviors and one Supervisor appointed by the Red Lake Band. The Board meets monthly to provide policy governance. Board members are elected by nomination district on the general ballot. Terms are staggered to assure continuity. Individuals interested in being on the ballot must file with the Beltrami County Auditor. [See BWSR SCWD Operational Handbook section on Supervisor Elections and BWSR Supervisor's Handbook]
- Jay Frenzel, Chairman 218-556-9794 (SWCD Area 1)
- Rob Knutson, Secretary, 218-444-8414 (SWCD Area 2)
- Ruth Trask, Treasurer 218-243-2749 (SWCD Area 3)
- Jeff Haack, Supervisor (SWCD Area 4)
- Shane Bowe, Vice Chairman, Legislative & Public Relations 218-444-0917 (Red Lake Band)
Environmental Services Department (ESD) and SWCD Staff
Day to day operations are conducted by a District Manager and staff.
- William Patnaude, District Manager
- Kathy Ruzicka, Office Specialist
- Mary Schoenfeld, Office Specialist
- Brent Rud, Environmental Resource Specailist
- Bill Best, Environmental Resource Specialist
Joint Powers Board Conservation Engineering Staff
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Staff
- Larry Voltz, District Conservationist, 218-751-1942 x3
Meeting Notices - 2014 Schedule
- Regularly scheduled monthly Board Meetings are held at 8:00 am on the 3rd Thursday of each month in the County Administration Building. All Board Meetings are open to the public.
We are now taking orders for Spring 2014 Tree Sales. Low-cost trees and shrubs are available for purchase by landowners for use in conservation practices including habitat improvement, windbreaks, shelterbelts, erosion control, water quality protection and energy conservation projects. The SWCD sells conservation trees and shrubs to generate revenues for its operating expenses, which are funded by self-generated revenues from tree sales, fees for services and minimal support from public tax dollars. Please order early to ensure the species you want will be available. For more information on our trees click on above link.
Forests and Lands
- Minnesota Biomes Project (with ISD #31 at site adjacent to J.W. Smith Elementary)
- Original Tree Plan for Biomes Project Site
- Note: Minnesota Biomes Project links point to web-based Powerpoint presentations; depending on your computer's security settings, you may need to allow scripts temporarily to view. They are rather large files that may take a minute or so to load so please be patient! Thanks for your interest!
Waters: Lakes, Streams,Wetlands, Groundwater
- Clean Water Legacy Surface Waters Assessment Grant:: collecting baseline water quality data on 36 lakes
- Lakes Database Initiative: development of a comprehensive local lakes database drawn from multiple sources
- SSTS Enhancement Grant:: initiative to improve septic system program
The Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provices a wide variety of services to the property owners of Beltrami County. Call or stop by our office to discuss the following list of services:
- Countywide Citizen Lake Monitoring Program
- AgBMP low-interest Loan Program
- State Cost Share Program
Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) and Permanent Wetland Preserves (PWP)
- MNDNR Groundwater Well Monitoring Program
- County Comprehensive Local Water Plan
- Provide wetlands information and assistance to landowners
- Host District for Non-Point Engineering Assistance Program
- Floating silt curtain and tree planting equipment rental
- Trees for conservation plantings
- Volunteer Rainfall Monitoring Network
- Pick-up & Drop-off Site for Well-Water Test Kits
- Wood-ash Utilization information and application assistance
2010 NRBG Reports
2011 NRBG Reports
Technical Service Area 8 - (Map)
A joint powers organization of Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods and Wadena Soil and Water Conservation Districts tasked with providing conservation engineering assistance to north central Minnesota land occupiers through the member SWCDs
North Central MN SWCDs Joint Power Board
3217 Bemidji Ave.N #3
Bemidji, MN 56601
Staff of the Non-Point Engineering Assistance Program (NPEAP) provides conservation engineering assistance to Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) that are members of Joint Powers Boards (JPB). The engineering assistance is typically utilized for the construction of eligible best management practices (BMPs) that protect and conserve water and soil resources of member SWCDs in order to meet their program needs in the area of nonpoint source pollution abatement. Staff provides wide range of technical assistance and leadership in regard to evaluation, design, and construction of eligible BMPs. The JPB works as a team member with conservation partners - specifically member SWCDs, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.