Anoka Sand Plain Habitat Conservation - Phase VI
Five partner organizations of the >25-member Anoka Sand Plain (ASP) Partnership will protect 210 acres of habitat through conservation easement, and restore/enhance 850 acres of Prairie/Oak Savanna, Shallow Basin Wetland, and fire-dependent Woodland/Forest habitats on public and protected private sites, within the Anoka Sand Plain Ecological Region and intersecting watersheds. These actions will increase biodiversity, habitat connectivity, and landscape resilience within the ASP Ecoregion, and address the ASP Partnership goals, DNR Wildlife Action Plan and OHF priorities for the Metropolitan Urbanizing and Forest-Prairie Transition sections.
Urgency and Opportunity:The amount of high quality remnant habitat in the ASP is remarkable especially given its proximity to Twin Cities Metropolitan and St. Cloud areas. While the location of the ASP provides easy access for many Minnesotans, the associated stressors threaten the ASP’s sustainability: The ecological diversity of the ASP is threatened by invasive species and development and the best window for response is now.Partnership:The ASP Partnership is determined to protect, restore and enhance functioning ecosystems, habitat cores and corridors in strategic locations so these functioning landscapes can provide ecological services and high quality recreational opportunities. Anoka Conservation District (ACD), Great River Greening (GRG), Minnesota Land Trust (MLT), National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and Sherburne SWCD (ShSWCD), will secure and hold conservation easements on 210 acres, and complete restoration and enhancement (R/E) on 850 acres on protected private parcels and 10 public sites. ASP Partners will enhance habitat by conducting invasive species removal, prescribed burning, thinning, mowing, and seeding and planting with locally sourced native seed and plants to increase biological diversity and landscape resilience. Conservation easements that permanently protect private lands for future generations will be secured and held by MLT, protecting additional parcels and acreage to expand habitat cores and corridors in the ASP; where needed, R/E will also be completed on a portion of these newly protected acres. Priorities:The ASP Partnership 10 - Year Strategic Conservation Action Plan utilizes multiple-criteria GIS analyses to identify and prioritize critical areas for habitat connectivity, SGCN, biodiversity, and native plant communities; the next steps of the Action Plan will determine target acreage goals for the ASP based on these criteria. The ASP Partners’ local knowledge have also been used to identify and prioritize ecologically significant projects and parcels with engaged stakeholders.Scope of Work:Anticipated R/E PROJECTS on parcels with existing protection, by priority habitat, are:PRAIRIE/SAVANNA (339 acres; $719,000)1.1 Crane Meadows NWR Phase I2.1 Freemont WMA 3. Oak Savanna Park4. Quarry Park SNA Phase I5.1 Robert and Marilyn Burman WMA 6. Santiago WMA B. SHALLOW BASIN NON-FORESTED WETLAND (135 acres; $211,000)5.2 Robert and Marilyn Burman WMA7. Blaine Preserve SNA 8. Blaine Wetland Sanctuary South, Phase II C. WOODLAND/FOREST (326 acres; $376,000)1.2 Crane Meadows NWR Phase I2.2 Freemont WMA 9. McDougall WMA 10. Sartell WMA Anticipated PROTECTION PROJECTS, with a portion of same acreage undergoing R/E, are:A. HABITATS (210 acres protected; of these, 40 acres enhanced and 10 acres restored; $1,267,000)11-16 . A range of 1 to 6 Conservation easements will be secured on private parcels, adding protected acreage to the priority habitats. With the both protection and R/E activities, this partnership work proposed here will significantly advance conservation goals in the ASP Ecoregion.
$2,573,000 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 and easements in the Anoka Sand Plain ecoregion and intersecting minor watersheds as follows: $156,000 is to the Anoka Conservation District; $699,000 is to Great River Greening; $269,000 is to the Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District; $182,000 is to the National Wild Turkey Federation; and $1,267,000 is to Minnesota Land Trust, of which up to $144,000 to Minnesota Land Trust 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.
Wetland and upland complexes will consist of native prairies, restored prairies, quality grasslands, and restored shallow lakes and wetlands - Perform ecological monitoring using DNR protocol and evaluate data; adapt management when and where needed. Record number of acres protected of high quality habitat on private lands, which buffer public lands and expand habitat cores and corridors; and number of acres of key habitat successfully restored / enhanced. Map project sites and periodically perform GIS analysis to help quantify impact on habitat complexes..A network of natural land and riparian habitats will connect corridors for wildlife and species in greatest conservation need - Perform ecological monitoring using DNR protocol and evaluate data; adapt management when and where needed. Record number of acres protected of high quality habitat on private lands, which buffer public lands and expand habitat cores and corridors; and number of acres of key habitat successfully restored / enhanced. Map project sites and periodically perform GIS analysis to help quantify impact on habitat cores and corridors..
Sherburne SWCD, NWTF, Sherburne County Parks, waived indirect, Land owners, ACD, NWTF , City of Blaine, GRG, NWTF