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Lake of the Woods - One Watershed, One Plan

Lake of the Woods - One Watershed, One Plan
Lake of the Woods - One Watershed, One Plan

Location:  Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota
Client:  Lake of the Woods County Soil and Watershed District


One year after the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ (BWSR) One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) pilot projects began in Minnesota, other watersheds began applying to develop their own plans. The Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and several other partners worked together to nominate the Lake of the Woods (LOW) watershed for a 1W1P. The project partners hired HEI to lead plan writing and meeting facilitation for this collaborative effort.

The Project

HEI has developed an effective plan writing process for the 1W1P framework, through our intital involvement in the North Fork Crow and Root River pilot 1W1Ps. This process was continued into the LOW 1W1P and involved working with the project partners early on to establish clear planning roles and responsibilities while setting goals, expectations, and project milestone.

With the LOW 1W1P, HEI brought our pervious 1W1P planning experience, planning documents, and relationship with BWSR, to the table. From these we are working to build their unique, custom plan. This experience serves to facilitate the planning by providing a tried and tested foundation.

HEI has significant meeting facilitation experience with a variety of groups, ranging from broad, informational meetings with the general  public, to intimate policy-related discussion with county board members. Through working with LOW, HEI has found that this type of adaptive facilitation is key in developing a 1W1P plan that meets the needs of all the planning partners.

Finally, HEI staff employ a unique combination of planning experience and technical expertise. HEI staff have been involved in the many Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies, including the studies for LOW. The 1W1P plans heavily rely on these studies and HEI’s experience in, and involvement with, these studies provides an added benefit during the planning process. This gives us a roadmap to develop a comprehensive plan that will deliver effective results across the watershed.

The plan was approved in August 2019. View the plan here:

Client Benefits

  • Facilitation services for public and stakeholder meetings.
  • A comprehensive management plan that takes public and stakeholder input, combined with existing resources, into account to deliver effective solutions.