The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District announces that a dedicated staff person will be assigned to work on the “One Watershed, One Plan” plan to administer conservation efforts within the Lower St. Croix River Watershed by bringing stakeholders together from a number of entities, not just using political boundaries. 

Starting Nov. 1, Mary Jo Youngbauer began work in the position of Lower St. Croix Watershed Conservation Planner. Her duties include working with landowners and stakeholders in Pine, Chisago, Isanti, Anoka and Washington counties, all of which have some portion of the county included in the Lower St. Croix River. 

Youngbauer grew up in the Lower St. Croix watershed and knows the watershed very well. She obtained a master’s in horticulture from the University of Minnesota. In April 2010, Youngbauer began work as a Water Resource Technician with the Chisago Soil & Water Conservation District. Her work included meeting with urban landowners, identifying locations that could be used for installing Best Management Practices, designing practices and guiding the landowner through implementation and maintenance.  

In the past couple years, her focus has shifted to more rural settings as she has become familiar with the federal Farm Bill programs. She recently completed training to become a Certified Conservation Planner through the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“I’m excited to lead this new way of doing things in the Lower St. Croix,” Youngbauer said. “It makes sense to work together with all the players in the watershed rather than each county doing its own thing. We can coordinate efforts, share tips and tricks, and help protect the St. Croix River as one team.” 

Her first tasks will be to introduce herself to all the parties in the watershed and start determining where outreach efforts should be focused to have the most impact. 

For information on upcoming watershed meetings where the public can provide input and ideas, or for any other information, contact Youngbauer at 651-674-2333, by email at or by stopping in at 38814 Third Avenue in North Branch. 

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