Rainy River Headwaters-Vermilion River One Watershed, One Plan

Rainy Headwaters-Vermilion Watershed Comprehensive Watershed Managment Plan

The Rainy Headwaters-Vermilion Watershed Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan hybrid public hearing was held on January 26, 2024, at 10 am in Ely and the Seagull Lake Community Center. The 60-day public review closed January 6, 2024. A summary of comments received was provided to all who commented.

The final version of the plan, public hearing record, and a summary of responses to comments including written comments not addressed and changes incorporated as a result of the review process are below. The plan is now being presented to individual partner boards for approval and will then go to the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources.

Final Version Documents

60 Day Review Draft

Public Hearing Draft

Rainy Headwaters-Vermilion Watershed Plan Overview


Rainy Headwaters-Vermilion Watershed Stakeholder Meeting

Oct 24th Stakeholder Meeting recording:

Local partners kicked off the start of a comprehensive watershed management planning effort last year and have been working to incorporate stakeholder ideas along the way. You are invited to learn more, share your knowledge and learn what’s next!

Questions addressed:

  • What are the resource concerns in the area?
  • How will work be completed towards addressing protection and restoration in the area?
  • How might your stakeholder group be involved in plan implementation?

What is a One Watershed One Plan?

Local governments have worked hard over the years to protect and restore our water resources through planning efforts within each county. In recent years, the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources encouraged local governments to partner with neighboring counties to work across jurisdictional boundaries and plan resources on a watershed wide scale. This process is called One Watershed One Plan (1W1P).

Who is involved in the RRHW/VR One Watershed One Plan?

The Rainy River Headwaters-Vermilion River 1W1P partners include North St. Louis Soil & Water Conservationist District, St. Louis County, Cook County and Soil & Water Conservation District, and Lake County and Soil & Water Conservation District. The effort will be led by the Steering Team made up of staff from these offices. Our Policy Committee, made up of elected officials from the County and SWCD Boards will approve the content of the plan, serve as a liaison to their representative governing entities and act on behalf of their constituents. An Advisory Committee will also be formed, to provide input to the Policy Committee.

Words used to describe the Rainy Headwaters-Vermilion Watershed from kickoff events and surveys

Want to know more about the planning process?
For more information on local water planning or the One Watershed One Plan program, please contact Becca Reiss at becca@nslswcd.org or any members of the Planning Committee.

Want to know more about the watersheds?
Check out these story maps with some detail information about water quality in the watersheds

Next Policy Committee Meeting is scheduled for: Friday, May 3rd from 10am – 12pm with location TBD


2024 RH-V Watershed Policy Committee Meeting Dates (April cancelled)

RHV Policy Committee 2023 Meeting Calendar (No December Meeting during 60-day review)

Policy Committee Agendas & Minutes

Policy Committee Agenda 05/16/2022

Policy Committee Minutes 05/16/2022

Policy Committee Agenda 07/01/2022

Policy Committee Minutes 07/01/2022

Policy Committee Agenda 09/02/2022

Policy Committee Minutes 09/02/2022

Policy Committee Agenda 12/02/2022:  Meeting Cancelled

Policy Committee Agenda 01/06/2023

Policy Committee Minutes 01/06/2023

Policy Committee Agenda 03/03/2023

Policy Committee Minutes 03/03/2023

Policy Committee Agenda 06/02/2023

Policy Committee Minutes 06/02/2023

Policy Committee Agenda 08/04/2023

Policy Committee Minutes 08/04/2023

Policy Committee Agenda 09/01/2023

Policy Committee Minutes 09/01/2023

Policy Committee Agenda 10/06/2023

Policy Committee Minutes 10/06/2023

Policy Committee Agenda 11/03/2023

Policy Committee Minutes 11/03/2023

Policy Committee Agenda 01/26/2024

Policy Committee Minutes 01/26/2024

Policy Committee Agenda 03/01/2024

Policy Committee Members

Ann Sullivan- Chair- Cook County Commissioner

Paul McDonald- Vice-chair- St. Louis County Commissioner

Chuck Bainter- Secretary- North St. Louis SWCD Board Supervisor

Beth Hippert- Lake County SWCD Board Supervisor

Joe Baltich- Lake County Commissioner

Hillary Freeman- Cook County SWCD Board Supervisor

Advisory Committee Meetings

Advisory Committee Agenda 10/11/2022

Advisory Committee Report 10/11/2022

Advisory Committee Summary 11/28/2022

Advisory Committee Summary 01/30/2023

Planning Documents & Resources

Policy Committee Bylaws of the Rainy River Headwaters-Vermilion River 1W1P

Planning Memorandum of Agreement for Rainy River Headwaters/Vermilion River Watershed 1W1P (Combined Signatures)

Rainy River Headwaters- Vermilion River Notification of Intent to Plan Letter June 6 22

Stakeholder Letter RRHWVR 1W1P Notification July 6 22

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Response to Notice of Intent

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Response to Notice of Intent

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Response to Notice of Intent

Minnesota Department of Health Response to Notice of Intent

1854 Treaty Authority Response to Notice of Intent

Fall Lake Township Response to Notice of Intent

White Iron Chain of Lakes Response to Notice of Intent

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Coalition Response to Notice of Intent

Additional Stakeholder Combined Reponses to Notice of Intent

Rainy Headwaters-Vermilion Public Kickoff Meetings Report

Implementation Documents & Resources

Combined Partner Resolutions to Submit & Adopt the Rainy Headwaters-Vermilion Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan to BWSR

Memorandum of Cooperative Agreement for Implementation of the Rainy Headwaters-Vermilion Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan Combined Signatures

North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District

505 3rd St N, Ste A,
Virginia, MN 55792
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4 Monday-Friday and by appointment

Upcoming Board Meetings

Wednesday, June 12th at 10:30 a.m.
This meeting will be held in-person at the SWCD office. A link is available to join virtually by contacting Anita at least 2 hours prior to the meeting. The public is welcome to attend.

View Meeting Schedule »
Minnesota Clean Air and Water Legacy Amendment