Knife River Watershed Protection Project

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District
Recipient Type
Local/Regional Government
Start Date
January 2012
End Date
December 2014
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview

The Knife River is a state protected water and a Designated Trout Stream. It is nationally known as a prime fresh-water steelhead fishery and is managed as a cold-water trout fishery for native species including brook trout. The Knife River is characterized by steep gradients, multiple water-falls and cascades, tea-colored water, and remnant old-growth forest cover types including white pine, Norway pine and white cedar.
For all its attributes, the Knife River does not meet water quality standards for sediments and turbidity. This project will restore two severely eroding streambank sites along the river identified as producing the greatest sediment loads of the entire river system.
The benefits from a stable channel in this location include reduced sediment downstream, less sediment pollution into Lake Superior and protection of native riparian plant communities. Toe wood combined with rock stream vanes will decrease bluff erosion and create beneficial fisheries habitat through the introduction of much needed woody debris.
Both project sites will be fully restored and stabilized with state-of-the-art engineering practices that have been successfully implemented on North Shore streams. Once the sites are fully restored, sediment loading to the Knife River will be reduced by 17 percent.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications

The 20-member BWSR board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens. Members are appointed by the governor of the state of Minnesota consistent with Minnesota Statutes 103B.101. Board members at the time the grant was made were: County Commissioner Appointees: Quentin Fairbanks; Tom Loveall; Brian Napstad; Soil and Water Conservation District Appointees: Paul Langseth, Louise Smallidge and Bob Burandt; Watershed District or Watershed Management Organization Appointees: Gene Tiedemann, LuAnn Tolliver and Todd Foster; Citizen Appointees: Paul Brutlag ; Gerald Van Amburg; John Meyer; Cities & Townships: Sandy Hooker -Township; Christy Jo Fogarty -Metro City; Keith Mykleseth -Non-Metro City; Agency: Chris Elvrum - Minnesota Department of Health; Rebecca Flood - Pollution Control Agency; Tom Landwehr - Department of Natural Resources; Matt Wohlman - Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Faye Sleeper - Minnesota Extension Service;

Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Wayne Zellmer -BWSR Grants Coordinator; Matt Drewitz -BWSR South Region Clean Water Specialist; Art Persons -MDH Planning Supervisor Drinking Water Protection; Jeff Hrubes -BWSR North Region Clean Water Specialist; Marcey Westrick -BWSR Metro Clean Water Specialist; Julie Westerlund -DNR Clean Water Coordinator; Robert L. Sip -MDA Environmental Policy Specialist; Anna Kerr -MPCA -Stormwater / TMDL Coordinator; Nick Proulx -DNR Central Region Clean Water Legacy Specialist; Karen Evens - MPCA -Watershed Projects Manager; Joshua Stamper -MDA Research Scientist, Pesticide & Fertilizer Management; Norman R. Mofjeld -MDA Hydrologist P.G. Well Management Section;

Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Conflict of Interest Contact

Nicole Clapp

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minnesota 2011, First Special Session chapter 6, article 2, section 7
Appropriation Language

(a) $13,750,000 the first year and $13,750,000 the second year are for pollution reduction and restoration grants to local government units and joint powers organizations of local government units to protect surface water and drinking water; to keep water on the land; to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams; and to protect groundwater and drinking water, including feedlot water quality and subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) projects and stream bank, stream channel, and shoreline restoration projects. The projects must be of long-lasting public benefit, include a match, and be consistent with TMDL implementation plans or local water management plans.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

MacDonald Streambank Project - Toe Wood Floodplain Bench, Stream Vanes, Critical Area Stabilization, Large Woody Debris/Root Wads - Knife River Mead Streambank Project - Toe Wood Floodplain Bench, Stream Vanes, Critical Area Stabilization, Large Woody Debris/Root Wads - Knife River Critical Area Stabilization on Undisturbed Slopes - Native Trees, Native Grasses & Forbs, Hydraulic Mulch Comparison/Demonstration - Knife River Geo-Technical Analysis & Recommendations - Knife River Environmental Assessment Worksheet DNR Protected Waters Permit / NPDES Storm Water Permit / Construction Easements - Knife River St. Louis County Land Department Streambank Project - Toe Wood Floodplain Bench, Stream Vanes, Critical Area Stabilization, Large Woody Debris/Root Wads - Knife River Kovacheck Streambank Project - Toe Wood Floodplain Bench, Stream Vanes, Critical Area Stabilization, Large Woody Debris/Root Wads - Knife River Proposed Reductions: 697 Phosphorus lbs/year and 606 Sediment tons/year

Measurable Outcome(s)

This project has resulted in the following pollution reduction estimates: 552 lbs/yr phosphorus, 489 tons/yr sediment (TSS), 868 tons/yr soil loss reduction.

Source of Additional Funds

The source of additional funds varies from project to project, but generally consists of federal, local and non-public sources.

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District
Street Address
616 Third Avenue
Two Harbors
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155

651- 296-3767