HCP VII - Shallow Lake Conservation Easements (3c)

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
June 2014
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Monitoring
Restoration/Enhancement
Counties Affected
Statewide
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 04j3c
Appropriation Language

$1,737,000 the first year and $1,738,000 the second year are from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for the acceleration of agency programs and cooperative agreements. Of this appropriation, $125,000 the first year and $125,000 the second year are to the commissioner of natural resources for agency programs and $3,225,000 is for agreements as follows: $637,000 the first year and $638,000 the second year with Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; $38,000 the first year and $37,000 the second year with Friends of Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District; $25,000 the first year and $25,000 the second year with Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; $225,000 the first year and $225,000 the second year with Minnesota Land Trust; $200,000 the first year and $200,000 the second year with Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc.; $242,000 the first year and $243,000 the second year with Pheasants Forever, Inc.; and $245,000 the first year and $245,000 the second year with The Trust for Public Land 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 an authorized 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 habitable 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. An entity who acquires a conservation easement with appropriations from the trust fund must have a long-term stewardship plan for the easement and a fund established for monitoring and enforcing the agreement. Money appropriated from the trust fund for easement acquisition may be used to establish a monitoring, management, and enforcement fund as approved in the work program. An annual financial report is required for any monitoring, management, and enforcement fund established, including expenditures from the fund. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2014, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000
Direct expenses
$250,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.52
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 04j3c
Appropriation Language

$1,737,000 the first year and $1,738,000 the second year are from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for the acceleration of agency programs and cooperative agreements. Of this appropriation, $125,000 the first year and $125,000 the second year are to the commissioner of natural resources for agency programs and $3,225,000 is for agreements as follows: $637,000 the first year and $638,000 the second year with Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; $38,000 the first year and $37,000 the second year with Friends of Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District; $25,000 the first year and $25,000 the second year with Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; $225,000 the first year and $225,000 the second year with Minnesota Land Trust; $200,000 the first year and $200,000 the second year with Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc.; $242,000 the first year and $243,000 the second year with Pheasants Forever, Inc.; and $245,000 the first year and $245,000 the second year with The Trust for Public Land 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 an authorized 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 habitable 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. An entity who acquires a conservation easement with appropriations from the trust fund must have a long-term stewardship plan for the easement and a fund established for monitoring and enforcing the agreement. Money appropriated from the trust fund for easement acquisition may be used to establish a monitoring, management, and enforcement fund as approved in the work program. An annual financial report is required for any monitoring, management, and enforcement fund established, including expenditures from the fund. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2014, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000
Direct expenses
$250,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.52
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

This appropriation is enabling Ducks Unlimited to help state and federal wildlife conservation agencies protect and restore shallow lakes for waterfowl. Conservation easements will be acquired on approximately 150 acres of privately owned shoreland and up to 60 acres of lands previously converted for cropping will be restored back to wildlife habitat. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding are located in Beltrami, Douglas, Freeborn, Grant, Meeker, Pope, Stearns, Swift, and Wright counties.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Shallow lakes represent the core of Minnesota's remaining waterfowl habitat. Shallow lakes are defined by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as basins 50 acres or larger with maximum depth of 15 feet or less. To help protect shallow lakes of importance to waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited (DU) works with private landowners to limit future subdivision and development of shoreland around shallow lakes by securing permanent DU conservation easements, and restores agricultural lands back to habitat where possible.

Through this grant, DU conducted landowner outreach to promote conservation easements to private landowners on select shallow lakes of importance to waterfowl, and offered to purchase or accept donated permanent conservation easements on shallow lakes DU has prioritized for shoreland protection. These included Lake Christina in Douglas County, Fish Lake in Stearns County, Cedar Lake in Meeker County, and Geneva Lake in Freeborn County. This effort addresses the goal of protecting lands adjacent to shallow lakes as outlined in the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources' "Six-Year Strategic Plan for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund" and in the Minnesota DNR's "Duck Recovery Plan".

DU attempted to work with 12 landowners on these lakes to secure conservation easements. Most were either non-responsive or declined to consider conservation easements for various reasons, and none were willing to consider donating easements due to the impact on the value of their land. Five landowners agreed to consider selling conservation easements, and easements were appraised. Three of these landowners declined to proceed, whereas two ultimately agreed to sell conservation easements. DU subsequently closed two purchased conservation easements permanently protecting 33 acres on Cedar Lake in Meeker County and 70 acres on Lake Christina in Douglas County. Of these 103.8 acres, 53 acres on Lake Christina were restored and the remaining 48 acres were intact natural habitats.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Conservation easement land protection deals involve private landowners, and publicity of those legal arrangements is a sensitive issue. DU will report accomplishments through the LCCMR website and in DU publications such as our Living Lakes Initiative progress reports.

Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Jon
Last Name
Schneider
Organization Name
Ducks Unlimited Inc
Street Address
311 E Geneva Rd NE
City
Alexandria
State
MN
Zip Code
56308
Phone
(320) 762-9916
Email
jschneider@ducks.org