Anoka Sand Plain Habitat Conservation - Phase V

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Anoka Conservation District; Isanti County SWCD; Great River Greening;Stearns County SWCD; Minnesota Land Trust
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
In Progress
Start Date
July 2017
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Counties Affected
Project Overview

The Anoka Sandplain Partnership proposal will restore/enhance 245 acres and 1.20 mi shoreline; and protect 80 acres of wildlife habitat on priority public lands principally within the Anoka Sandplain Ecological Region within the Metropolitan Urbanizing and Forest-Prairie Transition sections.

About the Issue

The Anoka Sandplain Partnership includes >26 government agencies/organizations working to protect, enhance, and restore lands and waters of the Anoka Sandplain eco-region. Five of the organizations are direct recipients of OHF funds, working together to protect, restore, and enhance priority habitats on state lands, land owned by local government units, and private holdings. A sixth partner is contributing cash match and significant in-kind.The following outcomes will be realized:1. Restoration/enhancement of 245 acres and 1.20 miles of shoreline for priority habitat improvement and connectivity. 2. Permanent protection on 80 acres of priority habitat through conservation easement.3. Engage local communities in project activities, where cost-effective, to encourage long-term success.Anticipated projects by priority category are:PRISTINE HABITATs1. Gordie Mikkelson WMA (Anoka Conservation District): Enhance 80 acres of ‘High' MCBS wetland and forest.2. Twin Lakes SNA (Isanti SWCD): Enhance 48 ac mixed pine/oak hardwood woodland with habitat for state threatened Blanding's turtle and state special concern red-shouldered hawk. Horseshoe lake shoreline fits the profile for rare wetland plants.SWAP (State Wildlife Action Plan) PRIORITY HABITATS (PRAIRIE, SAVANNA, NON-FORESTED WETLAND)3. Carlos Avery WMA (Great River Greening): Restoration of 35 acres of oak savanna4. Blaine Wetland Sanctuary South (Great River Greening): Enhance 147 acres of shallow peat basin wetland, with T&E speciesTHREATENED WILD&SCENIC RIVER STREAMBANK5. High Meadows Rum River Re-Meander (Isanti SWCD): Reconnect main channel aquatic and shoreline habitat by blocking man-made shortcut. 6. Mississippi River Streambank (Stearns SWCD): Restoration of 475' of major river streambank using high habitat value toe-wood design.7. Mickelson Floodplain and Shoreline (Isanti SWCD): Enhancement of 10 ac forest and 0.20 mile of Rum River shoreline with floodplain tree and shrub planting in a distinct gap in an otherwise intact stretch of riparian forest.ALL PRIORITY HABITAT CATEGORIES8. Conservation Easement (Minnesota Land Trust): Permanently protect 80 ac of habitat in one or more of the priority categories.If funding proves sufficient, the following "Tier 2" projects will be pursued:*Five WMA Woodland Enhancements: 327 acres of oak woodland across 5 WMAs enhanced with first burns.*Three WMA Prairie Reconstructions: 26 acres of prairie restorations across 3 WMAs*Expansion of Carlos Avery, Blaine Wetland Sanctuary, and Conservation Easements projects. All of these "Tier 2" projects address the same priority habitats as the anticipated projects.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
ML 2017, Ch. 91, Art. 1, Sec. 2, subd. 2(j)
Appropriation Language

$1,130,000 in the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat on public lands in Anoka, Benton, Isanti, Morrison, and Stearns Counties as follows: $41,000 is to Anoka Conservation District; $231,000 is to Isanti County Soil and Water Conservation District; $345,000 is to Great River Greening; and $163,000 is to Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District; and $350,000 is to Minnesota Land Trust of which up to $40,000 is for establishing monitoring and enforcement funds as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed permanent conservation easements, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Increased availability and improved condition of riparian forests and other habitat corridors - Ecological monitoring, data measured against DNR established norms and OHF protocols, and community engagement in long-term maintenance and monitoring activities..Wetland and upland complexes will consist of native prairies, restored prairies, quality grasslands, and restored shallow lakes and wetlands - Ecological monitoring, data measured against DNR established norms and OHC protocols, and community engagement in long-term maintenance and monitoring activities..A network of natural land and riparian habitats will connect corridors for wildlife and species in greatest conservation need - Ecological monitoring, data measured against DNR established norms and OHC protocols, and community engagement in long-term maintenance and monitoring activities..

Source of Additional Funds

Anoka SWCD, MLT, TNC, NFWF Monarch Fund, City of Blaine, Greening, Stearns Co. Parks, Clean Water Funds, Private, Landowner

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Great River Greening
Street Address
35 W Water Street Suite 201
St. Paul
Zip Code
(651) 665-9500
Administered By
Administered by

500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

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