Joe River
Watershed District


About Joe River Watershed District

bagley kayak tripThe land area of the Joe River Watershed district is located in the extreme northwest corner of Kittson County, which is the northwestern most county in the State of Minnesota. The District comprises 79,360 acres of land (124 square miles) in all or parts of the Townships of St. Vincent, Clow, Richardville, Hill, and Hampden. The JRWD is bordered to the west by the Red River of the North (also the MN - ND border), to the north by the Province of Manitoba, Canada, and to the east and south by the Two rivers Watershed District. Beginning in the southwest corner of the District, the boundary line runs 9.5 miles north following the Red River. The boundary then travels 19 miles east along the Canadian border, where it turns south - south west for a distance of 9.5 miles. The border then travels westerly about 10 miles back to the point of origin.

The JRWD was organized on January 31, 1958, the third watershed district established in the State of Minnesota. It has been governed by a 5 member Board of Managers since its inception. The JRWD conducts its business for the sole purpose of the management of water natural resources. The operations of the JRWD are governed by the Minnesota Statutes Chapter 103D. The "parent" State Agency is the Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources (BWSR), formerly known as the Minnesota Water Resources Board. As a part of its operations, the District has undertaken a flood control and water management project under the federal PL-566 program in cooperation with the Kittson Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Other programs of the District include a water quality monitoring program, culvert inventory, administration of the Rules of the Joe River Watershed District, and other data collection activities.

The Rules of the Joe River Watershed District were adopted on September 21, 1988 and became effective on November 16, 1988. These Rules were updated and revised on February 14, 2000. The Rules govern the manipulation of the water based natural resources of the District. Under these Rules, permits are required from the Board of Managers for such activities as ditching, diking, installation of culverts, road construction, water appropriation, and other activities that affect water management.

To date, the JRWD has focused its activities primarily on flood control. The land area of the District is not only affected by flooding on the main channel of the Joe River and its tributaries, but also by the flooding from the Red River of the North. The JRWD, being the furthest land area north and west in the State of Minnesota, is the last area to be affected by the Red River before it enters the Province of Manitoba, Canada. At this point the Red River is several miles wide during a major flood event.

Other problems or issues that are being addressed by the District are erosion control, water quality, wildlife, maintenance of projects, investigation of new projects, information and education, and data collection.

The JRWD has taxing authority and receives funding through levies and through grants and State and Federal programs. The District participates as a member of the Red River Watershed Management Board (RRWMB). Through this organization ½ of taxes collected under the construction fund are turned over to the RRWMB for the purpose of flood control on the Red River of the North. This was authorized by action of the Minnesota Legislature in 1972.

Contact the Joe River Watershed

P.O. Box 27
Humboldt, MN 56731
Phone: 218-379-3205

Meeting Dates

2nd Monday of the following months: January, March, June, July, September, & December at St. Vincent Town Hall, Humboldt, Minnesota

Board of Managers

H. Shane Stewart- President
3809 160th Ave.
Humboldt, MN 2006

Jim Wiese-Vice President
P.O. Box 5
Humboldt, MN 2004

Marshall Hemmes-Secretary
P.O. Box 27
Humboldt, MN 2006

John Finney-Treasurer
P.O. Box 13
Humboldt, MN 2004

Leroy Clow- Manager
1225 370th St.
St. Vincent, MN 2005


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Contact the RRWMB

Office Location: 11 5th Ave E | Ada, MN 56510
Telephone: (218) 784-9500
FAX: (218) 784-9502