Prairie Coteau

The Prairie Coteau Conservation Region captures the true feel of our prairie heritage perhaps better than any other part of Minnesota. There are still wide-open spaces that have the wind-swept feel of the Great Plains further to the west. Residents prize the rural landscape with a relatively low human population. Many have long family ties to the land and have stayed because of a simpler, more-affordable lifestyle where outdoor recreation remains an important activity. There is also a small-town feeling of belonging, where neighbors are valued. Buffalo Ridge is a reminder of the region’s prairie history although it is now becoming better known for its potential as a major source of wind energy. Some extensive prairie wetlands such as Heron Lake were once legendary among duck hunters, and still support relatively large populations of waterfowl that are a visible part of the seasonal rhythm during Fall and Spring migration.

Region Leader: Jo Pederson, 320-212-8910,
Facilitator: Toby Spanier, 507-337-2815,

Meeting Schedule

  • March 29, 2007 - ECSU Center, Marshall
  • April 23, 2007 - ECSU Center, Marshall

Meeting Participants

  • Duane Ninneman, Clean Up our River Environment
  • Dan Livdahl, Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District
  • Loran Kaardal, Tatanka Bluffs corridor, Inc.
  • Mick Meyers, Pipestone Tourism Director
  • Kerry Netzke, Area II Minnesota River Basin Projects, Inc.
  • Dominic Jones, Cottonwood County Manager
  • Eric Petersen, Farmer
  • Harvey Noyes, Lyon County Pheasants Forever
  • Pauline VanOverbeke, Lincoln County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Randy Markl, Area Wildlife Manager, Department of Natural Resources
  • David Benson, Director, Southwest Regional Development Commission
  • Jan Voit, Heron Lake Watershed District
  • Brian Hicks
  • Sunny Ruthchild, Owner, Merryweather Gardens
  • Jon Schneider, Ducks Unlimited
  • Jill WeberVanDerWal*
  • Tony Thompson, Willow Lake Farm
  • Sara Hanson, Willow Lake Farm