Neighbors and friends coming together to protect the Knife River and its watershed

Advocates for the Knife River Watershed


The Advocates for the Knife River Watershed (AKRW) is a non-profit organization committed to learning about the river and promoting policies and practices that enhance the Knife River ecosystem. AKRW serves as a forum for citizen voices in the private and public land use decisions that affect the watershed ecosystem. We welcome new members.

The Knife River Watershed

  • The main Knife River and its tributaries consist of approximately 70 miles of stream with a catch-basin of about 54,000 acres.

  • A little more than half of the watershed acreage is owned by the State of Minnesota, St. Louis County and Lake County.

  • The Remaining acreage is privately owned; of this about 25% (6200 acres) are enrolled in forest stewardship plans.

Map reproduced with permission from Stone et al. (2015)

Knife River Watershed Concerns

  • In 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency and and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency classified the Knife River as impaired due to high levels of turbidity.

  • The source of turbidity is erosion of clay banks within the river, caused by increased water flow during significant rain and snow-melt events.

  • The watershed has limited natural water storage features such as ponds and marshes which store and retard the flow of run-off water. The removal of beaver impoundments and clear-cut logging practices contribute to this problem.


Contact: or call 218-834-5221 for more information