Rural Watersheds

Tools and resources 

  • Fields to Streams: Managing Water in Rural Landscapes. This handbook is intended for rural landowners, managers, and conservation professionals, helping them understand fundamental concepts behind management practices that will moderate excessive stream-flows that are causing high levels of stream-bank, bluff, and ravine erosion. The two-part publication provides concise explanations and extensive graphics to highlight concepts and practices.
  • Watershed planning tools
    • The Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) is a watershed approach to conservation planning and it is a set of technical tools semi-automated within ArcGIS software. Users can generate detailed maps showing where conservation practices are suitable and effective. With partners across the Midwest, WRC staff developed training and help integrate ACPF into Minnesota watershed planning.
    • Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is the application of laser reflectance to measure distance to an object or surface. LiDAR data, including derivatives like contour maps, digital elevation models, hillshade projections and others are assisting with a wide range of natural resource conservation applications.


The Watershed Specialist Training (WST) program delivers an online training course for current and aspiring water resource professionals and supports ongoing networking among alumni. The program aims to build local capacity to address Minnesota’s water resource challenges.

The WST online course is not currently being offered. To receive updates as we revise the program, subscribe to the WST email list or contact us at [email protected]