HCP VI - Bluffland Restoration/Set Out Seedlings (2i)
$3,375,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for the sixth appropriation for acceleration of agency programs and cooperative agreements. Of this appropriation, $770,000 is for the Department of Natural Resources agency programs and $2,605,000 is for agreements as follows: $450,000 with Pheasants Forever; $50,000 with Minnesota Deer Hunters Association; $895,000 with Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; $85,000 with National Wild Turkey Federation; $365,000 with the Nature Conservancy; $210,000 with Minnesota Land Trust; $350,000 with the Trust for Public Land; $100,000 with Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc.; $50,000 with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and $50,000 with Friends of Detroit Lakes Watershed Management District to plan, restore, and acquire fragmented landscape corridors that connect areas of quality habitat to sustain fish, wildlife, and plants. The United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service is a cooperating partner in the appropriation. Expenditures are limited to the project corridor areas as defined in the work program. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum habitat and facility management standards as determined by the commissioner of natural resources. This appropriation may not be used for the purchase of residential structures, unless expressly approved in the work program. All conservation easements must be perpetual and have a natural resource management plan. Any land acquired in fee title by the commissioner of natural resources with money from this appropriation must be designated as an outdoor recreation unit under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.07. The commissioner may similarly designate any lands acquired in less than fee title. A list of proposed restorations and fee title and easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program. All funding for conservation easements must include a long-term stewardship plan and funding for monitoring and enforcing the agreement. To the maximum extent practical, consistent with contractual easement or fee acquisition obligations, the recipients shall utilize staff resources to identify future projects and shall maximize the implementation of biodiverse, quality restoration projects in the project proposal into the first half of the 2010 fiscal year.
Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".
Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".
Overall Project Outcome and Results
This project contained two types of habitat enhancement that resulted in the enhancement of a total of 72 acres of habitat.
In Habitat Corridor Area 11 in southeastern Minnesota, we contracted to have invasive eastern red cedar and buckthorn removed and controlled on south-facing blufftops on 60.75 acres of private land (5 parcels). These "goat prairies" were historically maintained by wind, freeze/thaw cycles, thin soils, and frequent wildfires. Fire suppression has allowed trees, shrubs, and exotic species to encroach upon the prairies. The contractor hand cut, piled, and burned trees and shrubs, and treated invasive species to ensure they would not resprout. This project enhanced prairie and outcrop habitat for state-threatened timber rattlesnakes, as well as three other at-risk snake species and numerous at-risk plant species found in this unique habitat. The resulting open grasslands will also be used as nesting and brood-rearing habitat for wild turkeys and other birds. Participating landowners have signed a 10-year maintenance agreement. Project cost was $67,259.50.
In Habitat Corridor 9, we purchased seedlings to plant 150 bur oak, 150 black walnut, and 175 hackberry trees on 11 acres on the Talcot Lake WMA. These trees were protected from herbivory by tree shelters and weed mats. In addition, we purchased 475 seedlings of each of the following fruiting shrubs - chokecherry, red osier dogwood, elderberry, and American plum. All seedlings were planted by DNR staff. This project restored oak savanna and lowland hardwood forest to provide roosting sites for wild turkeys along southwestern Minnesota river corridors, and provided natural winter food resources by planting fruit-bearing shrubs. Project cost was $7,070.23. We had hoped to accomplish more tree planting, but a staff change near the end of the project prevented us from finding a suitable location and order materials before the project deadline.
Project Results Use and Dissemination
Our intention is to make NWTF Chapters and volunteers aware of the accomplishments of this Environmental Trust Fund project by posting an article on our website and Facebook page. In addition, we plan to release a press statement announcing the completion of the project to the general public.