HCP VII - Shoreland Protection Program (3a)

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$225,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$225,000
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient
Minnesota Land Trust
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
June 2014
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Monitoring
Counties Affected
Becker
Beltrami
Big Stone
Blue Earth
Cass
Clay
Douglas
Faribault
Freeborn
Grant
Hubbard
Itasca
Kandiyohi
Lac qui Parle
Le Sueur
Meeker
Otter Tail
Pope
Rice
Stearns
Steele
Stevens
Todd
Waseca
Wright
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 04j3a
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
$225,000
Direct expenses
$225,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.31
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. 04j3a
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
$225,000
Direct expenses
$225,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.31
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Project Overview

With this appropriation, the Minnesota Land Trust plans to protect approximately 500 acres of critical shoreline habitat along Minnesota's lakes, wetlands, rivers, and streams by securing permanent conservation easements and dedicating funds for their perpetual monitoring, management, and enforcement. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding are located in Becker, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Otter Tail, Pope, and Wabasha counties.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
In the seventh phase of our Shorelands Protection project, the Minnesota Land Trust continued to work with landowners to secure permanent conservation easements on quality habitat along or containing critical riparian lands. We initiated or continued contact with more than 30 landowners and completed eight conservation easements. Collectively, these easements preserve approximately 700 acres of land - exceeding our original goal of 400 to 600 acres - and protect nearly 34,172 linear feet of fragile shoreline. Highlights from the eight completed projects include:

  • One donated easement over 30 acres in Kandiyohi County that protected over 2,600 feet of natural shoreline along the Middle Fork of the Crow River.
  • A complex of five easements surrounding five lakes in Becker County that protected approximately 474 acres and over 3 miles of undeveloped shoreline. Four of the five easements were donated to the Land Trust.
  • One donated easement in Otter Tail County that protected 48 acres and over 2,900 feet of shoreline along Blanche Lake, immediately adjacent to Glendalough State Park.
  • Another donated easement that protected 145 acres of forest and wetlands in Beltrami County and preserved almost two miles of shoreline along Black Lake and Three Island Lake.
  • Overall, this phase of the grant program protected 269 acres of forest, 183 acres of wetlands, and over 6 miles of undeveloped shoreline.

All eight projects met the following selection criteria:

  1. Habitat: quality and quantity of existing habitat on site; protects riparian areas and buffers water resources
  2. Context: proximity and relationship to other protected lands
  3. Opportunity: cost-benefit ratio: landowners willingness and readiness to participate now
  4. Other Benefits: meeting multiple objectives, including visual and physical access, forestry goals, water quality, etc.

Additionally, the Land Trust prepared baseline property reports for each easement, detailing the condition of the property for future monitoring and enforcement. To fund this required perpetual obligation, the Land Trust dedicated funds to its segregated Stewardship and Enforcement Fund for several completed projects. For these projects, we estimated the anticipated annual expenses of each project and the investment needed to generate annual income sufficient to cover these expenses in perpetuity - all in accordance with our internal policies and procedures as approved by LCCMR. We will report to LCCMR annually on the status of the Stewardship and Enforcement Fund and the easements acquired with funds from this grant.

All but one of the eight easements completed under this grant were entirely donated. The value is known for only two of the donated easements, which together total $204,000 in appraised donated value under this grant. The Land Trust purchased one of the Fischer Lakes easements for the appraised value of $170,000. The cost to the State of Minnesota to complete the eight projects completed under this phase of the grant was just under $600 per acre.

Cumulatively, across all phases of the HCP program, the Land Trust has completed 89 conservation easements, protecting 8,245 acres of critical habitat and more than 258,000 feet of shoreline, at a cost to the State of approximately $320 per acre.

The Land Trust's work on this project continues to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of working with conservation easements to protect natural and scenic resources along Minnesota's lakes, rivers, and streams, as the cost to the State was well below the cost to purchase land along our increasingly threatened shorelines. This grant continued to generate interest among landowners, and therefore, ongoing funding will be important to sustained success. Additionally, our experiences during this phase of the grant indicate that funds to purchase easements will be necessary in the future as work becomes more targeted, selective, and focused on building complexes of protected land.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
The Land Trust disseminated information about the specific land protection projects completed under this grant though our newsletter, email updates, web site, and press releases. The Land Trust also shared information about conservation easements generally and our experience with our partner organizations, other easement holders, local communities, as well as policy makers including members of the LCCMR and LSOHC.

Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Sarah
Last Name
Strommen
Organization Name
Minnesota Land Trust
Street Address
2356 University Ave W, Ste 240
City
St Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55114
Phone
(651) 647-9590
Email
sstrommen@mnland.org