WHAT IS A WATERSHED?  A watershed is an area of land that contains a network of streams and rivers that all drain into a single larger body of water, such as a larger river, a lake. It combines with other watersheds to form a network of rivers and streams that progressively drain into larger water areas.

Watersheds in Yellow Medicine County


Link to website: Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank Watershed

Water quality information:


The Yellow Medicine One Watershed One Plan (1W1P) was developed as one of five pilot “One Watershed One Plan” projects in Minnesota as a result of legislation passed in 2012 that authorized the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to align local planning on watershed boundaries. The nine-county partnership of Area II Minnesota River Basin Projects (Area II) has been working cooperatively since its inception in 1978 to address water quality and quantity issues in southwestern Minnesota. The soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) within Area II recognized the need to increase coordination and provide greater assurances for meeting resources management goals and measurable outcomes. Because four of the five counties in the Yellow Medicine Watershed had plans that were expiring as early as 2016 and a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) was being completed for the watershed, SWCD members determined that the 1W1P pilot project was consistent with their goals and that the Yellow Medicine Watershed was the best candidate for the pilot project. Area II members envision that this pilot project will be adopted throughout the rest of the Area II planning area
and a regional approach for watershed-based management will be embraced. Ten local governments entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to develop the YM1W1P and
include representatives from Area II, Lincoln County and SWCD, Lac qui Parle County and SWCD, Lyon County and SWCD, Yellow Medicine County and SWCD, and the Yellow Medicine River Watershed District (YMRWD). The mission of these organizations, along with the state agencies that cooperated in developing this plan, is to work together with citizens to restore and protect the water resources of the Yellow Medicine Watershed.

The Yellow Medicine County CLWMP covers the Lac qui Parle and Redwood River Watersheds on either end of Yellow Medicine County. These plans are intended to expire in 2021 and will be replaced with One Watershed One Plan standardized and wholistic planning. As of 2018, the SWCD is involved with the Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) document which provides the science background for implementation planning.


The SWCD opted out of participating in the Redwood River WRAPS, due to less than 5% of Yellow Medicine County being included.

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