Green Corridor Legacy Program, Phase 3
$1,771,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Redwood Area Development Corporation to acquire land for wildlife management area purposes under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8, or aquatic management areas under Minnesota Statutes, sections 86A.05, subdivision 14, and 97C.02. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.
Protected in fee 313 acres of Prairies
This program helped to create a legacy of habitat connectivity, public access, and economic vitality based on increased outdoor recreational opportunities in the mid-Minnesota River Watershed.
This program incorporates the basic concepts of sustainability and ecosystem management. Minnesota has lost 99% of the original prairie and has seen dramatic declines in grassland dependent wildlife. Examples of the species showing the greatest conservation need in the Program area; the American Badger, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Bobolink to name just a few. Traditional game species are also affected by the decline in habitat such as pheasants, deer, wild turkey, and a variety of dabbling ducks which are associated to prairie wetland complexes.Publicly owned natural resource infrastructures (WMA, AMA, SNA, parks/trails, waterways) invigorates local and regional economies by providing outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities supported by hunting, fishing, wildlife observation areas, and other forms of outdoor recreation. New business concepts are likely to arise as a direct result of the recreational and tourism opportunities that will be advanced by this Green Corridor Legacy Program. Because of this concept there is wide support from many stakeholders who will assist the Program activities to achieve the desired outcomes.The Glacial River Warren created the Minnesota River Valley as it drained Lake Agassiz 10,000+ years ago. The bluff to bluff wall of water carved out one of Minnesota’s most scenic landscapes, creating unique geological features, and unique plant communities along the valley and its primary tributaries.Efforts to restore, protect, and enhance our wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife are timely as escalating development pressures threaten remaining natural lands and water resources on both public and private lands. The Green Corridor Legacy Program approach will be based on sound science concepts of plan development, setting conservation priorities, developing short and long term strategies to achieve conservation priorities, implement the strategies, and then continue monitoring the outcomes. All of these concepts and practices will follow existing state wildlife and conservation plans and natural resource management practices in conjunction with agency partners.The primary work area of the Green Corridor Legacy Program will be Redwood, Renville, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Brown, Nicollet, Murray, Lyon, and Cottonwood Counties with an emphasis along the Minnesota River, its tributaries, associated watersheds, and creating/expanding corridor or complexes of habitat. Connecting existing fragments of habitat along and near the Minnesota River and tributaries in the Program area will generate an ecological synergism that will allow game, wildlife, and aquatic species to flourish, while creating multiple recreational opportunities and improving public access through a series (phases) of funded activities within the nine (9) county Program area.This Program is directly consistent with the uses of the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as specified in Article XI of the Minnesota Constitution and Minnesota Statute 97A.056: to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife. Furthermore, it will produce multiple conservation benefits across a large targeted and planned geographic area.Final Report: This program acquired 3 properties at total of 315 acres in our planned Lamberton area corridor that meets the above mentioned concepts and activities that produced multiple conservation benefits. 1) The Dutch Charleys Creek WMA project acquired 79 acres of which 39 acres where donated by the landowner at a value of $51,960. The property borders the eastern side of Dutch Charleys Creek and is a well documented wintering area for wildlife like deer, turkey, and pheasants. This property also connects to a FY10 OHF Green Corridor project of 83 acres. 2) Gora Praire WMA is 154 acre site that protected an expiring CRP contract and also protected small remnants of native prairie. 3) The Lamberton WMA #23 project of 80 acres of which 12 acres where donated by the landowner at a value of $16,000. This tract also protected an expiring CRP contract. This project also connects to a 90 acre FY11 OHF project by Green Corridor.This program year marked a time when land values were escalating and when many CRP contracts in the area were expiring. One high valued site of nearly 200 acres was pursued as part of this appropriation and after a tremendous amount of time/effort to work out details with the property owner no deal was reached. Overall, the Green Corridor Program received amazing support from our willing landowners as noted by their land donations, We also received strong support/encouragement from the DNR area wildlife manager and the regional DNR office in the planning/evaluation of potential sites and we also had the support of local units of government and several local wildlife conservation groups.