Minnesota's Legacy

Accelerating the Waterfowl Production Area Program, Phase 5

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$6,830,000
Fund Source
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Recipient
Pheasants Forever
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2013
End Date
June 2017
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Counties Affected
Big Stone
Blue Earth
Clay
Jackson
Kandiyohi
Lac qui Parle
Lyon
Mahnomen
Murray
Rice
Stearns
Wright
Big Stone
Blue Earth
Clay
Jackson
Kandiyohi
Lac qui Parle
Lyon
Mahnomen
Murray
Rice
Stearns
Wright
Legal Citation / Subdivision
ML 2013, Ch. 137, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 4(b)
Appropriation Language

$6,830,000 in the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever to acquire land in fee to be designated and managed as waterfowl production areas in Minnesota, in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$6,830,000
Other Funds Leveraged
$3,813,300
Direct expenses
$6,743,500
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
.19
Measurable Outcome(s)

Over the course of the appropriation, 14 parcels were acquired totaling 1,240.79 acres which exceeded the total acre goal of 1,230 acres by 10.79 acres. Breaking down acres by ecological section we acquired 160 acres in the forest/prairie and 1,080.79 acres in the prairie. 

Wetland and upland complexes will consist of native prairies, restored prairies, quality grasslands, and restored shallow lakes and wetlands. 
Water is kept on the land.
Protected, restored, and enhanced nesting and migratory habitat for waterfowl, upland birds, and species of greatest conservation need.
Increased availability and improved condition of riparian forests and other habitat corridors.
Improved access to public lands.
A network of natural land and riparian habitats will connect corridors for wildlife and species in greatest conservation need.
Protected habitats will hold wetlands and shallow lakes open to public recreation and hunting.
Improved access to public lands.
Core areas protected with highly biologically diverse wetlands and plant communities, including native prairie, Big Woods, and oak savanna.
Expiring CRP lands are permanently protected.
Remnant native prairies and wetlands are permanently protected and are part of large complexes of restored prairie, grasslands, and large and small wetlands.
Improved condition of habitat on public lands.
Water is kept on the land.
Protected, restored, and enhanced habitat for waterfowl, upland birds, and species of greatest conservation need.
Improved access to public lands.

Source of Additional Funds

Federal Government, PF, Private

Project Overview

The program was to accelerate the protection of 1,230 acres of prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitat as Waterfowl Production Areas open to public hunting in Minnesota. Over the course of the appropriation, we acquired 14 parcels for a total of 1,240.79 acres which exceeded our total acre goal of 1,230 acres by 10.79 acres.  Breaking down acres by ecological section we acquired 160 acres in the forest/prairie and 1,080.79 acres in the prairie.  We have a balance that will be returned to the Fund despite exceeding our acre goals.

In total, we under spent on our budget, over delivered on acre goals, and over delivered on match leverage received.

Project Details

The loss of grassland and wetland habitats in Minnesota is well documented.  One of the primary ways to reverse this downward trend is to permanently acquire and restore previously converted wetland and grassland habitats on those properties. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and their partners have been employing this strategy for over 50-years with the Small Wetlands Acquisition Program (SWAP). This acceleration program acquired and restored 205.77 acres of wetland and 1,035.02 acres of grassland habitats which are now permanently protected as Waterfowl Protection Areas managed by the Service. Using landscape level planning tools [e.g. Thunderstorm Maps produced by the Service’s Habitat and Population Evaluation Team (HAPET)], Pheasants Forever (PF) has acquired these strategically identified properties. Based on HAPET evaluation strategies, modeling predictions can be made on the numbers of nesting waterfowl, grassland nesting birds, and other wildlife the acres affected by this grant application will produce.  Besides the obvious wildlife benefits the lands acquired through this grant will provide additional water quality, groundwater recharge, and flood abatement benefits. These strategies are well tested and are supported by the greater conservation community here in Minnesota. Hunting and fishing stakeholders are very interested in increasing opportunities for hunting and fishing public access and have used WPA’s extensively in the past. To address concerns related to the erosion of county tax revenues due to public land, the Service and PF notified counties prior to acquisition of lands. Once acquired, the Service will make a one-time Trust Fund payment to the County where the property is located.  In addition, the Service will make annual Refuge Revenue Sharing payments for all fee lands within the respective Counties.  

Project Manager
First Name
Eran
Last Name
Sandquist
Organization Name
Pheasants Forever
Street Address
410 Lincoln Ave
City
South Haven
State
MN
Zip Code
55382
Phone
763-242-1273
Email
esandquist@pheasantsforever.org