Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) have the authority and expertise to work with landowners to determine what alternative practices may best fit on their land and validate them if requested. Landowners may install alternative practices with or without SWCD assistance and may request a validation of compliance from the SWCD.
SWCDs have authority to validate alternative practices (and combination of practices) based on provisions of the USDA-NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). In some situations, a SWCD may request additional input from other field staff or technical experts to ensure they are sufficiently informed when working with landowners. BWSR's role is to provide program guidance and support to ensure local staff are successful and consistent when working with landowners.
Polk County Planning and Zoning is responsible for enforcing the local Ordinance that buffers are specifically addressed in Section 25 of the PCZO. This includes language of how to handle violations of Minnesota Section 103F48, Subdivision 3 (buffer law). Polk County Planning and Zoning will work with local SWCD staff to address problem sites and non-compliance with the buffer rules.
Please contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office for more information about buffers and local requirements.