PO Box 990
1895 W U.S. Highway 2       
Grand Rapids, MN
Mon-Fri: 8am to 4:30pm Closed on Weekends
           (218) 326-5573
call itasca swcd 218-326-5573

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What is Itasca Soil and Water Conservation District?

The Itasca SWCD is a local agency which provides access to conservation and resource management services. In cooperation with federal, state and local agencies, the District provides technical assistance, cost-sharing and natural resource management information and education. Urban and rural landowners, businesses, industry and agencies may request these services.

Invasive Species

To learn more about the threats Itasca County lakes face check out our educational information here.
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Itasca County Invasive Species

Tree & Plant Sale

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Itasca County Plant Sale

Events Calendar

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Shoreland Guide

To view or download a copy of the Shoreland Guide For Itasca County click here.
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Itasca SWCD News & Announcements

In 2014, the State of Minnesota passed a tax bill that provides funding for aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention. This funding provided $10 million to counties each year to prevent the introduction and limit the spread of aquatic invasive species. The funds are allocated based on each county's share of watercraft trailer launches and each county's share of watercraft trailer parking spaces.

Itasca County received $572,784 for state fiscal year 2017 and $621,124 for state fiscal year 2018.

The Itasca County Aquatic Invasive Species  (AIS) Program Plan for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2017 was approved by the Itasca County Commissioners in March 2016. The Itasca AIS Plan was drafted by the Itasca County Aquatic Invasive Species Technical Advisory Committee (AIS Tech Committee). The AIS Tech Committee is composed of the Itasca AIS Coordinator and up to two representatives from the following agencies/entities:

  • US Forest Service - Chippewa National Forest
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • University of Minnesota Extension
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Itasca County Environmental Services
  • Itasca Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
  • Itasca Coalition of Lake Associations (ICOLA)
  • Itasca Water Legacy Partnership (IWLP)

Five "priority areas" were each managed by a lead agency or organization that was responsible for accomplishing the AIS priorities specific to that priority area and managing the funding allocated to that priority area. In 2017 all non-County priority areas were managed by the Itasca Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD).

The five Priority Areas, are:
Summary of AISP Priority Areas

Prevention: Itasca AIS Coordinator SWCD; priorities include AIS watercraft inspection and decontamination program, enforement, education, public landing infrastructure improvements, partnerships (anglers, fishing guides, bait shops, hunters, marine businesses, float plane operators and all other businesses)

Monitoring and Control: Itasca SWCD; priorities include coordinating trained SWCD AIS field crew(s) for early detection, control and  monitoring AIS in Itasca County lakes and rivers. Supplemental training and education will be provided for AIS professionals of Itasca County.

Community Action Projects: AIS Coordinator SWCD/ICOLA; priorities include managing a small grants program that enables organizations, associations or individuals to further AIS prevention locally by means of enhancing other AISP programs or innovative projects, matching funds required to leverage AIS prevention efforts.

Awareness and Training: AIS Coordinator SWCD; priorities include managing public communications, mass media programs, AIS awareness at public events, printed materials, outreach to new partners or external AIS partners, AIS programs for youth, contrubuting website content and collateral support for other priority areas' communcation needs. Public training on AIS as well as Citizen science training for the early detection of AIS and AIS identification will be offered to citizens of Itasca County.

County, Itasca County (Environmental Services as liaison); priorities include participating with the DNR Database, developing a county AIS website to include AIS location map, identification, reporting, calendar of events, volunteer opportunities, contact information; a reserve of unallocated funds will be maintained to provide flexibility to the AISP.


What You Can Do To Stop Aquatic Invasive Species.

CLEAN all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.

DRAIN water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.

DISPOSE of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.


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Contact our Office: (218) 326-5573