Forest Protection Reserve
$2,000,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2010 from the outdoor heritage fund to the commissioner of agriculture to identify, prevent, and in consultation with the Forest Resources Council, protect Minnesota forests by rapidly and effectively responding to the threat or presence of plant pests. The commissioner may access this appropriation if sufficient resources are not available from state, federal, or other sources or if the commissioner determines that sufficient state, federal, or other resources will not be available to the commissioner in time to effectively prevent the introduction or spread of tree pests and avert environmental or economic harm. Up to $125,000 is available immediately to the commissioner of agriculture to update the state's invasive and exotic tree pest plans by addressing the role of all stakeholders in preventing the introduction or spread of invasive pests, responding to and containing outbreaks, and remediation. The commissioner shall work in consultation with the commissioner of natural resources, the Forest Resources Council, and the Forest Protection Task Force and provide quarterly reports on findings and recommendations to the governor and the appropriate legislative committees. The reports must include recommendations to ensure that a coordinated and effective response network is in place to protect our forests. The commissioner of agriculture may transfer all or part of this appropriation to the commissioner of natural resources and shall award grants to local units of government or other entities.
18 grants were made, 2,075 ash trees removed, 2,121 stumps removed and 1,702 trees planted from a variety of species
This program funded grants to local units of government and other entities to supplement, not supplant existing budgets. Two categories of grants made available: 1) focus on response to invasive forest pest incidents, 2) focus on planning and preparedness for the arrival of invasive forest pests. The program will also update the state's invasive and exotic tree pest plans.