Northern Counties Land Use and Coordinating Board


Welcome to the Northern Counties Land Use Coordinating Board's official website. We hope you find this a useful tool for following activities of the Board and important land use issues affecting northern Minnesota. We welcome your questions and comments.


The purposes of the Northern Counties Land Use Coordinating Board are:

  • To gather and disseminate information;
  • To consider matters of common concern;
  • To assist member counties and other units of government or regional organizations in the formulation of land use plans or general policies needed for the protection, sustainable use and development of lands and natural resources.

According to the Agreement Establishing Participation in the Northern Counties Land Use Coordinating Board, these purposes shall include “an understanding and consideration of the common culture, similar customs and an interdependent shared social and economic condition.”

To accomplish these purposes, the Board is to “encourage, review, and assist in the formulation of land use plans, and work to resolve conflicting land use policies. Further, the Board may conduct other activities within its powers so as to permit, promote and ensure the balanced use and efficient, long term management of all lands, providing a place where people may live and prosper in a viable biological, social and economic condition.”


NCLUCB Participating Counties mapThe geographic region of the Northern Counties Land Use Coordinating Board of northern Minnesota stretches over 10.6 million acres from the Red River Watershed in the west to the North Shore of Lake Superior. Much of it borders Canada. Member counties are extremely diverse with various mixes of land ownership, ranging from almost all private lands to over 90 percent public lands. The vast majority of federal lands in Minnesota exist in this region. Local, state, and federal and bi-national programs and policies create a complex picture of land use authority.


The Northern Counties Land Use Coordinating Board was established in 1993 pursuant to the Minnesota Joint Powers Act. The Board’s primary mission was to provide leadership in the development of comprehensive land use plans that met the needs of the people of the area.

In 1995, the Minnesota Legislature approved an appropriation of funds for the Board for the “development of a coordinated planning process and comprehensive land use plans pursuant to policy goals in the National Environmental Policy Act.”

Experience in that process led to a pilot project to document instances when land use regulations and policies are incompatible with local government land use authority and when regulations and policies interfere with private property rights, as well as to identify a means of resolving differences. The result was a two-part report issued in 2004 to the Minnesota Legislature regarding land use and environmental decision processes.

Since that report was published, the Board has actively engaged in monitoring issues that affect its member counties, At the same time it has sought input in the early stages of policy making at all levels, proactively seeking effective land use that reflects adequate representation of public values.


Member Counties

Aitkin County
Cook County
Koochiching County
Lake County
Lake of the Woods
Pennington County
Roseau County
St. Louis County