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Remembering Joe Montonye

Remembering Joe Montonye


The environmental world lost a great ally recently.  Joe Montonye of Barrett MN lost his battle with cancer on February 23, 2023.

Joe dedicated his life protecting the water and land of our great state.  He worked for the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for over 45 years.  During this time, he worked with many federal agencies creating partnerships to protect what Joe loved…. the outdoors.  He created lasting relations with the DNR, FWS, NRCS, BSWR, and FSA just to name a few.  Joe had a mission.  He said what was on his mind and did not let government bureaucracy stop the ultimate goal of protecting our environment.

As the manager at Grant County SWCD, he spearheaded a successful campaign to protect our lakes and streams by helping enroll thousands of acres of filter strips.  This is a voluntary erosion control program which was years ahead of the Minnesota Buffer mandate.  Joe had a vision and he saw it through!  This was only one of Joe’s many accomplishments.

Joe truly cared for the world in which he lived and he did more than his share to try and take care of it. He saw the beauty that nature had to offer and had a strong conviction that we needed to do something to preserve the land for future generations.

Even though Joe has passed, his legacy lives on.  The trees, the birds, the fish, the grass, and the lakes are better because of what Joe did with his life.  Thank you, Joe Montonye!

(Joe served as a director of the Pioneer Heritage Conservation Trust from 2015-2021)

Joe Montonye Obituary 2023 - Erickson-Smith Funeral Home & Cremation Service (