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About Us

PRWA Brochure-click here

The Pine River Watershed Alliance (PRWA) is a citizen-led volunteer organization that works with local units of government and other agencies to preserve and protect the local environment while meeting resident needs for economic development and a healthy community.  The PRWA has grown out of initial efforts of the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association (WAPOA) and the Pine River Watershed Protection Foundation (PRWPF) to address watershed-wide issues.

Watershed level planning has become an accepted tool for managing resources at the basin/watershed level.  PRWA has created a Pine River Watershed Management Plan that provides the direction for our organization to focus on effective environmentally sound watershed management.  This Management Plan and the objectives of PRWA were largely established based on input received from residents through a survey done in 2006.

PRWA drives specific projects and activities in support of its vision and mission.  The specific objectives for PRWA are established in the Operating section of the Management Plan and will be updated and measured yearly.

mission and vision

Mission and Vision


The Mission of the Pine River Watershed Alliance is to protect and preserve the Pine River Watershed’s land and water quality for the people of the watershed, now and for future generations, to enjoy a healthy, vibrant way of life.



Our Vision is to have the land and waters of the Pine River Watershed be healthy, beautiful and treated with respect by all people.


Pine River Watershed Alliance (PRWA) is an organization of people concerned about water quality. The Pine River Watershed encompasses 504,000 acres primarily in Crow Wing and Cass Counties with a small portion in Hubbard and Aitkin Counties. PRWA works to develop and implement enduring solutions to protect the quality of the watershed’s land and waters for the people who live, work and recreate here.


Water quality remains the primary gauge for measuring and assessing the quality of the environment.  This measurement is used to evaluate the success of actions taken to improve land management practices. Our water quality efforts are focused on understanding sources of and attempting to mitigate negative impacts to our water.


What happens on land directly impacts the quality of our water resources. The pressure on our lakes and streams comes from an increasing population with corresponding land development along with agricultural and other land management practices in the watershed.  Our efforts focus on promoting sustainable land management practices.  PRWA expands water quality discussions to recognize that land, water and air are all related and need to be properly managed to maintain a healthy environment.


We are an entirely volunteer organization, not funded by taxes.  The major challenge of a volunteer organization, like this watershed effort, are funding, maintaining momentum on projects Pine River Watershed Alliance (PRWA) manages or supports, and recruiting members.  We are actively working to insure PRWA has the resources to achieve its Vision and Mission and make our efforts impactful and relevant to the people who volunteer their time and energy, including our partners and the stakeholders of our watershed..


The reduction of pre-settlement wetlands has been identified as an issue primarily in southern and western Minnesota where expansion of agriculture has significantly reduced wetlands, contributing significantly to a degradation of water quality in those areas.  The residents of the Pine River Watershed noted in a previous survey that development in the Central Lakes Region of the state has also reduced wetlands and is an issue that needs to be addressed.  Although not a focus area in our current five-year plan, wetlands are a topic of note in our efforts.



1.  Sustainable land use management practices are learned and implemented.


A.  Working with Northern Waters Land Trust (NWLT), Bureau of Soil and Water Resources and the National Forest Service increase the number of conservation easements in the watershed for areas identified as needing protection in the Pine River WRAPS.

B.  Implement action plans for projects identified in WRAPS or others which utilize sustainable land management practices.

C.  Investigate and explore up to three technological practices to reduce phosphorus in waters identified by the WRAPS as impactors to nutrient loading in the watershed.

D.  Develop, deliver or partner on a minimum of five educational opportunities on desired land and water quality practices.

2.  Collaboration with government entities, organization and individual for land and water quality is effective and beneficial.

A.  Work with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (CWSWCD) and local government units (LGU’S) on a minimum of two WRAPS projects.

B.  Continue and strengthen relationships with the Land and Waters Endowment toward a one million dollar goal; the Cass County Farm Bureau to provide an annual Harvest Dinner; Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (CWSWCD), Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources (BWSR), and the US Department of Agriculture/Forestry Service to secure two source water protection grants; and the University of Minnesota Extension/Central Region Sustainable Development Partnership (CRSDP).

C.  Develop and increase relationships with lake associations and other entities of common interest.

D.  Participate and support the Sandpiper Alliance to achieve a favorable environmental outcome.

3.  Pine River Watershed Alliance (PRWA) has the capacity and resources to be a thriving, effective, inclusive organization.


A.  Increase participation of Pine River Watershed residents in PRWA efforts by 400 new members.


B.  Increase unrestricted funds to an annual amount of $20,000.

C.  Establish administrative support by shared resources with Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (CWSWCD).

board members

Board Members

Ron Meyer


Pequot Lakes

Steve Roe


Crosslake City Council

Barbara Courmeya

Vice Chair


Sheila Boldt


Jodi Billy


Pelican Lake Assn


Lloyd Thyen


Jodi Eberhardt


Lake Ossie

John Forney



Clay Schultz.jpg

Clay Schulte


Jim Chamberlain


Happy Dancing Turtle

Judy Wallshlaeger


Pequot Lakes

Steve Wallschlaeger


Pequot Lakes


Melissa Barrick

Ex Officio

Crow Wing SWCD

Tom Kuschel

Ex Officio

Cass County SWCD

Scott Lucas

Ex Officio


Jason Baca


Pequot Lakes

Kirk Soldner New Board Member_edited_edi

Kirk Soldner


regional map

Regional Map

comments from chair

Comments From The Chair

Comments from the Chair February 2024

This coming year is our 20-year anniversary. There has been a lot of activity the past years and all of it is identified on our website ( ). One of the biggest challenges is just keeping the website updated with our efforts.


As I look at our activities I think a lot has been accomplished and yet I believe two things that we have done aren’t necessarily specific projects. First our efforts have supported the use of watershed approaches to protecting our environment and water quality. The watershed is the key element to focus on for protection and improvement. We now see activities like the statewide program that addresses all watersheds in the state called the Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan (WRAP). The Pine River Watershed is just starting our second 10-year plan. Also, activities like the 1W1P effort bring focus and dollars to many efforts for our watershed. We have been active in a leadership role in these efforts.


The second thing was a comment I heard while working with the University of Wisconsin on our Grassland 2.0 project. I was informed that our objective isn’t the specific projects but rather we must change how our residents incorporate the protection of our environment in their decision process. We should focus on changing our society rather than on small specific projects. I always believe one must have a specific goal to accomplish anything meaningful but changing our society is a little challenging. But as I think about it if that gets done organizations like ours wouldn’t be needed because problems and issues would be addressed.


Right now, there is some activity around the idea of mining manganese in Emily. Wouldn’t it be great for our mining interests along with residents and local government units sitting down and determine what are the critical needs of our area and deal with this from a long-term strategic perspective? Right now, that is a dream but still needs to be a goal. Staying informed and engaged is something we can all do to move to this goal.


Twenty years ago we sent a survey to help us decide what we would focus on as we created our plans and mission. We are asking our members to take a survey once again to help us understand what is important, identify opportunities to improve the watershed, and ensure we are communicating effectively.    


Please take a few minutes to complete our survey at this link: or with the QR code at the end of this letter.  If you are unable to access the survey, send an e-mail to and she can send you a copy to return via mail or e-mail.


Thank you for your help with the survey and I am asking you to get more personally involved in PRWA. We need your help. We need new Board members. Please consider and contact me to discuss.


Ron Meyer

QR code for survey2.png
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