Accelerated Shallow Lakes and Wetland Enhancement - Phase VIII

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,167,000
Fund Source
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Recipient
DNR
Recipient Type
State Government
Status
In Progress
Counties Affected
Aitkin
Anoka
Becker
Beltrami
Isanti
Mahnomen
Marshall
Polk
Pope
Waseca
Legal Citation / Subdivision
ML 2016, Ch. 172, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 4(e )
Appropriation Language

$2,167,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to enhance and restore shallow lakes and wetland habitat statewide. A list of proposed land restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,167,000
Other Funds Leveraged
$0
Direct expenses
$2,058,000
Administration costs
$109,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
5
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Improved availability and improved condition of habitats that have experienced substantial decline - Intensive wetland management and habitat infrastructure maintenance will provide the wetland base called for in numerous prairie, shallow lake and waterfowl plans. Area wildlife staff and/or shallow lakes staff will monitor completed projects to determine success of implementation and to assess the need for future management and/or maintenance..Wetland and upland complexes will consist of native prairies, restored prairies, quality grasslands, and restored shallow lakes and wetlands - Intensive wetland management and habitat infrastructure maintenance will provide the wetland base called for in numerous prairie, shallow lake and waterfowl plans. Area wildlife staff and/or shallow lakes staff will monitor completed projects to determine success of implementation and to assess the need for future management and/or maintenance..Protected habitats will hold wetlands and shallow lakes open to public recreation and hunting - Intensive wetland management and habitat infrastructure will provide the wetland base called for in numerous prairie, shallow lake and waterfowl plans. Area wildlife staff and/or shallow lakes staff will monitor completed projects to determine success of implementation and to assess the need for future management and/or maintenance..Protected, restored, and enhanced shallow lakes and wetlands - Intensive wetland management and habitat infrastructure maintenance will provide the wetland base called for in numerous prairie, shallow lake and waterfowl plans. Area wildlife staff and/or shallow lakes staff will monitor completed projects to determine success of implementation and to assess the need for future management and/or maintenance..

Project Overview

This proposal will accomplish shallow lake and wetland habitat work that will otherwise go unfunded. This work is called for in the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan, Long Range Duck Recovery Plan, and Shallow Lakes plan.

About the Issue

Minnesota wetlands, besides being invaluable for waterfowl, also provide other desirable functions and values - habitat for a wide range of species, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood water storage, shoreline protection, and economic benefits.

An estimated 90% of Minnesota’s prairie wetlands have been lost, more than 50% of our statewide wetland resource. Throughout the state, remaining shallow lakes and wetlands provide the aforementioned critical habitat for each life stage of waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Unfortunately these benefits are too often compromised by degraded habitat quality due to excessive runoff and invasive plants and fish. Additionally, wetlands continue to be lost or degraded by ongoing ditching and tiling from agriculture and other forces. In our remaining wetland habitat, only about one prairie wetland in five exhibits good quality vegetation while just under a third provide good habitat for invertebrates.

There are three components to this proposal, each intended to further shallow lake and wetland restoration and management.

ROVING HABITAT CREW - The Prairie Plan estimates over 150,000 acres of wetlands need management action just within the identified prairie core areas. Past Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF) moneys were used to establish regional Roving Habitat Crews to address needed upland and wetland habitat management work on state wildlife properties. We have seen remarkable recoveries of both habitat quality and wildlife use of wetlands when we have invested in active management. The funding requested in this proposal will be targeted to continuing the work of the Region 1 Roving Habitat Crew in northwest Minnesota and will allow them to accomplish wetland habitat work that will include, but not be limited to, managing water levels, maintaining fish barriers and other wetland infrastructure, inducing winterkill of fish, controlling invasive plants and fish, and encouraging native plant assemblages.

SHALLOW LAKES / WETLAND PROJECTS -The habitat quality of the shallow lakes and wetlands still on the landscape can be markedly improved by controlling invasive species and rough fish, installing fish barriers where needed and aggressively managing water levels to meet management objectives. This proposal seeks to engineer and construct wetland infrastructure such as dikes, water control structures, and fish barriers, and to implement management techniques such as water level manipulation. The shallow lake and wetland projects identified in this proposal for enhancement were proposed and ranked by DNR Area Wildlife Supervisors through their respective Regional Wildlife Managers and were reviewed by the Wetland Habitat Team. Ten projects will be implemented to address failing wetland and shallow lake infrastructure and one wetland restoration will be undertaken.

SHALLOW LAKES PROGRAM - The Minnesota Shallow Lakes Plan identified that the overall water quality and subsequent habitat condition of shallow lakes in our state is poor. This deteriorated quality has dramatically reduced wildlife use. The management of shallow lakes in Minnesota is an example of how dedicated staff working with sufficient resources can successfully implement a clear strategic plan. Where we have actively managed shallow lakes for wildlife habitat the response has been very positive, at times spectacular. Management success was limited until an investment was made in dedicated shallow lake specialists to support our area wildlife staff. This work includes conducting annual habitat evaluations on lakes across the state, guiding the formal designation of wildlife management lakes, waterfowl feeding and resting areas, refuges and sanctuaries, identifying lake management problems, recommending lake management strategies and developing management plans, and, alongside property managers, initiating shallow lake management. Past OHF funding made it possible to expand the number of shallow lake specialists available to assess, facilitate and implement shallow lake habitat work. This proposal would continue shallow lake program staff funding. Note that in the past year the Shallow Lakes Program has celebrated the designation of the 50th Wildlife Lake, designated a record number of shallow lakes in a one-year period, and been recognized with a DNR Commissioner's Award and a USFWS Blue-winged Teal Award for the quality and scope of its work.

Program managers may add, delete, and substitute projects on the approved parcel list based upon need, readiness, cost, opportunity, and/or urgency so long as the substitute parcel/project forwards the constitutional objectives of this program in the Project Scope table of this accomplishment plan. The final accomplishment plan report will include the final parcel list.

Project Manager
First Name
Ricky
Last Name
Lien
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Street Address
500 Lafayette Road Box 20
City
St. Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55155
Phone
(651) 259-5227
Email
ricky.lien@state.mn.us