Evaluate Effectiveness of AIS Prevention Strategies
$4,040,000 in the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Central Minnesota Initiative Fund to develop a series of pilot projects to enhance aquatic habitat by preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, including pilot projects conducting education and outreach, inspection and decontamination, enforcement, and other activities. All pilot projects must be conducted on a reimbursement basis and require a match of nonoutdoor heritage fund dollars. A required evaluation of results must be funded with nonoutdoor heritage fund dollars. The required evaluation must evaluate the efficacy of inspection and decontamination activities utilized in any of the pilot projects in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. A list of pilot projects must be included in the required final report. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2019. The accomplishment plan must accelerate the start of the pilot project.
Improved aquatic habitat indicators - Demonstration of effective strategies of fish and wildlife habitat enhancement by successful implementation of locally-led efforts to implement and financially sustain AIS prevention efforts..Improved aquatic habitat vegetation - Demonstration of effective strategies of fish and wildlife habitat enhancement by successful implementation of locally-led efforts to implement and financially sustain AIS prevention efforts..As our proposal is for statewide impact, the proposed program outcomes are the same for each region. Please refer to the "Other" program outcomes detailed in the northern forest region. .Improved aquatic habitat indicators - Demonstration of effective strategies of fish and wildlife habitat enhancement by successful implementation of locally-led efforts to implement and financially sustain AIS prevention efforts..Protected, restored, and enhanced shallow lakes and wetlands - Demonstration of effective strategies of fish and wildlife habitat enhancement by successful implementation of locally-led efforts to implement and financially sustain AIS prevention efforts..As our proposal is for statewide impact, the proposed program outcomes are the same for each region. Please refer to the "Other" program outcomes detailed in the northern forest region. .
Assess the effectiveness of a range of strategies to prevent introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species in uninfected or minimally impacted lakes in Minnesota through a range of inspection, education and outreach, enforcement, and/or other methods that can be administered locally.
Nationally, introductions of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) have caused the decline of many plant and animal species. They have significant impacts on human activities; for example, in 2005 they cost the U.S. economy over $120 billion (Flathead Basin [Montana] Aquatic Invasive Species Strategic Prevention Plan, 2010). As they are increasing in their occurrence and distribution, adverse impacts associated with AIS continue to rise. This scenario is playing itself out regionally and locally as well.
Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 84D.01, Subd. 9a defines "Invasive species" as a nonnative species that: (1) causes or may cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health; or; (2) threatens or may threaten natural resources or the use of natural resources in the state. Many invasive species of concern have been identified that may likely be introduced and survive in Minnesota. Once introduced into new habitats where they have no natural controls or enemies, they disturb native species through competition, predation, displacement, hybridization, and spread of diseases and parasites and, in the process, degrade fish and wildlife habitat. AIS can also adversely affect commercial, agricultural, recreational, and residential activities that depend on water resources.
THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT--VECTORS AND PATHWAYS
What is common among all AIS is that they have been introduced to North America by human activity. Primary vectors and pathways of concern include:
• Transient users of water resources (e.g., recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, diving) through public and private accesses
• Activities affecting water resources (e.g., commercial, natural resource management, or construction activities)
• Natural and man-made conveyance of waters
• Owners of riparian lands
• Watercraft and trailers
• Docks, lifts, and other such equipment
• Bait harvesters and bait users
• Construction/resource management equipment (e.g., barges, plant harvesters, waders, boots, diving equipment, aquarium and aquascaping)
• Storm water drainage systems (including outlet streams and pipes)
• Float planes
• Tributary waters
This project will assess the effectiveness of a range of implementation activities to prevent the introduction of AIS into uninfested lakes or to prevent the introduction of additional AIS in previously infested lakes in Minnesota. More specifically, the project will examine the most innovative, legal, effective, and financially sustainable methods of preventing the spread of AIS through a range of education and outreach, inspection and decontamination, enforcement, and/or other methods to enhance fish and wildlife habitat that can be administered locally. This purpose will be realized under the following three goals:
Goal 1—AIS Planning and Data Collection—
While it is recognized that finding rare occurrences of AIS in lakes is a daunting challenge, successful pilot projects will be required to have some current baseline monitoring completed on impacts of AIS on fish and wildlife habitat in their lakes. Grant reimbursable activities under this goal may include:
• Creation of an AIS prevention plan following a standard format, or;
• Update of an existing AIS prevention plan;
• Update or population of an AIS database;
These pilots will help guide and track efficient and effective long-term AIS prevention activities that enhance fish and wildlife habitat.
Goal 2—Prevention and Containment--The primary goal of this project is to keep pilot project lakes free of new AIS. There is also the reality that AIS may exist undetected, be introduced or spread in pilot project lakes, or be transported out of pilot lakes. All activities under this goal are intended to enhance fish and wildlife habitat by providing long-term or permanent solutions to AIS infestation and must be based on the best available science regarding AIS prevention and control of spread to other surface waters. Grant reimbursable activities under this goal may include:
• Strategies to manage access to and from pilot project lakes;
• Inspection and decontamination of watercraft and other equipment to limit the spread of AIS to and from pilot project lakes that seek to 1) keep AIS from migrating from already
infested lakes, or 2) prevent AIS from entering uninfested lakes;
• New and innovative strategies, biologic processes, or products with potential to prevent AIS.
• Programs enlisting landowner participation and commitment to prevent introduction of AIS.
• A local cooperative strategy for strong enforcement of existing AIS laws or special regulations;
• Extensive public information campaigns, including social marketing principles, on AIS prevention and corresponding enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat;
Successful pilot projects must marshal additional manpower, equipment, and funding to extend and expand the AIS prevention effort. Projects must also focus State, Tribal, and local efforts on rapid response and removal where AIS infestations are found to exist during the pilot project to prevent spread elsewhere. Adaptive management to allow strategies to be modified or replaced during the active project is allowed but must be approved in advance.
Goal 3—AIS Pilot Project Results Reporting—Successful pilot projects must establish a rigorous results reporting program, using a standard format, to monitor and report interim as well as overall progress, successes, and challenges. Non-LSOHC matching funds will be used to complete activities under this goal which may include:
• Use of science-based strategic planning and evaluation models;
• Reports on the reactions and attitudes of lake residents, lake service providers, business owners, and non-riparian citizens to aggressive, targeted approaches to prevent human-assisted AIS migration to or from pilot project lakes, and the unintended consequences or strategies that failed to achieve their intended goals;
• Reports on the degree of support, interaction and cooperation between State and local governments, Tribal governments, and private organizations in administering AIS prevention/control efforts;
• Risk management and cost/benefit analyses;
• The ability of a project to attract local or other outside matching resources to expand and financially sustain the AIS prevention/control effort;
• Recommendations for changes or additions to AIS prevention and regulation laws to enhance fish and wildlife habitat at the State or local level.