Accelerated Prairie Grassland Wildlife Management Area Acquisition, Phase 1
This program will protect 800 acres of new wildlife habitat in the Prairie, Deciduous Transition, and Southeast Bluffland ecological sections of Minnesota through fee title acquisition. Title of all lands acquired will be held by the State and designated as Wildlife Management Area open to hunting, trapping, fishing and compatible outdoor recreation uses.
Minnesota has lost 99% of the original prairie landscape resulting in drastic declines in grassland dependent wildlife. Examples of species in greatest conservation need in the prairie include American Badger, Grasshopper Sparrow, Northern Pintail, Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. Prairie grasslands support populations of upland game birds such as pheasants, prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse and a variety of dabbling ducks when associated with prairie wetland complexes. These game populations drive local and statewide hunting recreation and economy. The DNR will acquire converted and degraded lands in the prairie, transition moraine, and bluffland ecological sections over the next two years and restore the grassland complexes by planting native prairie. DNR will prioritize acquisitions at sites where there is an existing habitat base in prairie grassland complexes to address habitat fragmentation and to maximize habitat benefits. Project lists will change, as new parcels become available and as previously included projects become unavailable. Collaborative partnerships will be promoted in order to acquire key lands. DNR will work with and seek a resolution from the County Board of Commissioners approving all WMA acquisitions.
$3,913,000 in fiscal year 2010 is to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire land for wildlife management areas with native prairie or grassland habitats. A list of proposed fee title acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.
Protect in fee 145 acres of wetlands and protect 665 acres of prairies.