Thief River Watershed Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan

(One Watershed One Plan)

The Final Draft Thief River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan has been completed and prepared for submittal to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, along with supporting information. 

1. Plan submittal letter

2. Final Draft Thief River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan

3. All written comments received

4. Public hearing record (video, minutes)

5. Summary of responses to comments




Thief River One Watershed, One Plan

The Thief River watershed is one of seven areas that are participating in the second round of One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) projects that have been approved by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). Several local agencies, including the Red Lake Watershed District, Pennington County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Marshall County SWCD, and the Beltrami County SWCD are working together to create a single plan for the watershed.

Cooperation throughout multiple, connected jurisdictions is important because water management in Beltrami County affects the waters of Marshall County. Water management in Marshall County, in turn, affects the waters of Pennington County. Participation in the 1W1P Program will benefit the LGUs by combining our planning efforts and reducing redundancy in time and dollars used for plan writing and meetings. Counties and SWCDs attend planning meetings and sit on committees for the RLWD Water Plan. Staff from the RLWD attends planning meetings for county water plans.

The 1W1P will establish clear implementation timelines, milestones and cost estimates for restoration and protection activities. Combining multiple water planning efforts into one effort will create a more efficient and cooperative plan for water management. Plans will include goals and implementation actions that are prioritized and targeted on a watershed basis with measurable results, instead of the present individual plans that are restricted to political boundaries.

Draft Thief River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) documents have been written and are being prepared for public review. Completed reports and other resources that provide information about the Thief River Watershed can be found on the Thief River Documents page.

One Watershed One Plan Information

1W1P Fact Sheet (BWSR)

BWSR 1W1P Website


News & Updates

  • The Planning Work Group has been developing an annual work plan for the first round of Thief River 1W1P funding. A draft work plan and budget will be presented at the March 16, 2020 Policy Committee meeting.
  • The BWSR Northern Regional Committee voted to recommend the Thief River Watershed Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan for Approval at their March 4, 2020 meeting. 
  • A revised draft plan is ready for approval at local watershed district, soil and water conservation district, and county board meetings
  • The Public Hearing for the draft Thief River One Watershed One Plan was held at 9:00 a.m. Monday, December 2, 2019 at the Red Lake Watershed District. A video of the hearing can be viewed by clicking here.
  • On November 7, 2019, the Policy Committee, Advisory Committee, and Planning Work Group met to discuss comments from the 60-day comment period and recommend revisions. A list of comments and revisions was approved by the Thief River 1W1P Policy Committee.
  • The full draft Thief River One Watershed One Plan was completed and then reviewed during a 60-day public comment period that ended October 16, 2019. The Comments and revisions from the 60-day public comment period were discussed by all committees and approved by the Thief River One Watershed One Plan Policy Committee on November 7, 2019.

Thief River 1W1P Documents and Links


Meeting Agendas and Materials

Meeting Minutes


Policy Committee Members 

Advisory Committee Members 

Planning Team Contacts:

Beltrami County Soil and Water Conservation District:  Zachrie Gutknecht - zachrie.gutknecht@co.beltrami.mn.us

Houston Engineering, Inc.:  Drew Kessler - dkessler@houstoneng.com

Marshall County Environmental Services:  Josh Johnston - josh.johnston@co.marshall.mn.us

Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation District:  Darren Carlson - darren.carlson@mn.nacdnet.net

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR):  Matt Fischer - matt.fischer@state.mn.us

Pennington County Soil and Water Conservation District:  Peter Nelson - peter.nelson@mn.nacdnet.net

Red Lake Watershed District:  Myron Jesme - Myron.Jesme@redlakewatershed.org


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