Email Us


About West Otter Tail SWCD

Our Mission Statement

Our Mission Statement

Because our natural resources (soil, water and air) are so fragile and easily degraded, it is the mission of the West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District to promote the wise and proper use of all natural resources within the District. We strive to achieve this goal for the economic, environmental and aesthetic betterment of all.

Guiding Principles

- We know that Minnesotans take great pride in the precious natural resources our state has to offer.

- We believe that people inherently want to help the environment for future generations and be good stewards of the land.

- We believe that healthy soil and clean water are key contributors to Minnesota's economic vitality.

- We strive to help Minnesota landowners care for the land in a collaborative way, approaching each project with an open mind.

- We believe that conservation services must be flexible and customized to achieve the best results.

- We believe that conservation work is best conducted locally by people who live, work, and recreate in the communities they serve.

Awards and Recognitions

Awards and Recognitions

2011 - MASWCD/MNDOT Living Snowfence Award

2011 - PF Acre Maker Award—Aaron Larsen, Project Manager

2015 - MASWCD SWCD of the Year Award

2015 - BWSR Outstanding Employee of the Year—Brad Mergens, District Manager

2016 - MN Pheasants Forever Brood Booster Award

2017/2018 - Polaris Habitat Stewardship Award (awarded by Pelican River PF Chapter)

2021 - MNDNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources Appreciation Award



The West Otter Tail SWCD was formed on February 8, 1944. When formed the SWCD consisted of only 15 townships (Oscar, Elizabeth, Carlisle, Fergus Falls, Orwell, Buse, Dane Prairie, Western, Aastad, Tumuli, St. Olaf, Maine, Amor, Sverdrup, and Nidaros). In 1947, the remaining 16 townships were added.

The first District Supervisors included Mervin Hagen, Alfred Putnam, W.H. Dewey, Harry Burau, and Theo Hegseth.