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BRRWD, formerly known as South Buffalo Watershed District, was established on August 31, 1960, and was comprised of approximately 344 square miles in Clay, Otter Tail, and Wilkin Counties (primarily the South Branch of the Buffalo River). Following a severe summer flood in 1975, it became apparent that to address flooding, the District should include all lands contributing runoff to the Buffalo River. The District was expanded by Order of Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) on September 17, 1976 and the name changed to Buffalo-Red River Watershed District. In 2011, Wilkin and Otter Tail Counties petitioned the State to expand BRRWD to encompass the land between the southern border of BRRWD and the Bois de Sioux Watershed District border. The District was expanded to its current size on April 25, 2012 by Order of BWSR.

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