HCP VI - Partners for Fish and Wildlife (2b)
Overall Project Outcome and Results
Since 1987, the USFWS's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (Partners) has restored more than 16,280 drained wetlands (74,300 acres) and more than 1,240 upland sites (54,100 acres) to native grasses and forbs, on private lands in Minnesota. Through its Partners Program, the USFWS works with other federal and state agencies, local units of government, tribal entities, conservation organizations, and individual landowners to restore or enhance fish and wildlife habitats on private land. This program emphasizes restoring habitats and native vegetation for fish and wildlife in concert with the goals of individual private landowners. These projects also benefit the general public by providing habitat for fish, wildlife and plants, improving water quality and watershed health, reducing non-point source pollution, and creating opportunities for outdoor recreation and education.
The $50,000.00 of Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) funding obtained through this work program, accelerated the USFWS' existing Partners Program with an additional voluntary restoration or enhancement of 38 wetland basins covering 54 acres of wetland habitat and five grassland sites covering 491 acres of upland habitat. With this funding, a total of 6 projects were completed on private land within HCP Project Area 12. The ENRTF funds were expended from July 2009 through June 2011. The USFWS Partners Program provided $33,138.00 of Other Funds cost-sharing to complete these projects.
The USFWS Partners Program also provided $13,400.00 of Other Funds to complete two additional upland enhancement projects totaling 43 acres.
Under the Partners Program, wetlands are restored or enhanced by plugging or filling drainage ditches, removing excess sediment, breaking up sub-surface tile systems, embankment construction, and/or installing water control structures. Upland grassland areas are restored or enhanced by removing invasive woody vegetation and re-seeding former cropland to a native prairie seed mixture. All seeded areas complied with requirements to utilize local native ecotype seed as available.
Project selection for ENRTF cost-share via the Partners Program is based on the project's contribution to building wetland and upland habitat complexes or corridors and/or restoring or enhancing native habitats in the focus project areas.
Project Results Use and Dissemination
These projects were completed within the nine HCP Project Areas across the state of Minnesota. Without the willingness of the landowners involved, and the variety of other partners, this important wetland, upland and river/riparian wildlife habitat would not be restored.
Numerous presentations including information about ENRTF habitat restorations have been made over the past ten years at various meetings - i.e., Minnesota State Private Lands Meeting, the Wetland Summit, the Shallow Lakes Forum, MNDNR Roundtable, and at Kiwanis, Rotary, and Lion's Club presentations. One project completed with ENRTF dollars was also featured on the Minnesota Bound television program hosted by Ron Schara.
$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".