MeCC V - Fish & Wildlife Land Acquisition (3.5)
$3,375,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for the fifth appropriation for acceleration of agency programs and cooperative agreements. Of this appropriation, $2,185,000 is for Department of Natural Resources agency programs and $1,190,000 is for agreements as follows: $380,000 with the Trust for Public Land; $90,000 with Friends of the Mississippi River; $155,000 with Great River Greening; $250,000 with Minnesota Land Trust; $225,000 with Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc.; and $90,000 with Friends of the Minnesota Valley for the purposes of planning, restoring, and protecting important natural areas in the metropolitan area, as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2, and portions of the surrounding counties, through grants, contracted services, technical assistance, conservation easements, and fee title acquisition. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum management standards as determined by the commissioner of natural resources. Expenditures are limited to the identified project corridor areas as defined in the work program. 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".
Project Outcome and Results
This project had a two pronged focus. Result 1 (4f2.9) focused on a trout stream habitat restoration project located within Vermillion River Aquatic Management Areas (AMA), in Dakota County. This stretch of the Vermillion River channel had been altered by ditching. Result 2 (4f3.5) focused on securing fee title parcels on the Vermillion River in Dakota County and Eagle Creek in Scott County. Parcels include habitat linkages that provided environmental protection of the shoreline and riparian zone, exhibit a high risk of development, supply angler access, and afford management access necessary for implementing habitat improvement projects. Project goals were to restore 0.6 miles of stream habitat and acquire 60 acres with 1.0 mile of shoreline. Partner funding includes donations of land value and cash.
Result 1 (4f2.9): Restoration of 0.9 miles of Vermillion River channel. Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) dollars directly restored approximately 0.44 miles of the total restored channel. Other State dollars (TU OHC = $140,000) restored 0.41 miles, and other funding (Vermillion River Watershed = $20,000) restored 0.05 miles of the total.
Result 2 (4f3.5): Acquisition of four parcels with a grand total of approximately 50.5 acres and 1.1 miles of stream shoreline. Because of the extreme variation in shoreline values it is hard to accurately predict a reliable acre benchmark. Most years, including the 2008 ENRTF appropriation, we far exceeded our acres goal. For the 2009 ENRTF appropriation, we fell short of the acres goal, but reached our "miles of shoreline" goal. ENRTF directly acquired approximately 38.8 acres of the total, including 0.7 miles stream shoreline. Donations of land value ("other funds" $106,800) accounted for 11.7 acres and 0.4 shoreline miles. One of the Vermillion River parcels (parcel 7) was acquired jointly using both 2008 and 2009 grants to Metro Corridors Conservation Partnership. Results for Vermillion River, P7 were proportionately distributed for each grant.
Overall, as a result of this project, 0.9 miles of Vermillion River channel was restored to its original course, after being ditched for 50 or more years. Also, as a result of this project, 50.5 acres, including 1.1 miles of critical shoreline fish and wildlife habitat are now permanently protected and open to public angling and/or hunting - as well as other light use recreational activities. Due to failed negotiations, two acquisitions went into abeyance towards the end of the grant, resulting in $57,975 being turned back to the ENRTF. Acquired parcels are now designated and managed as AMAs.
Project Results Use and Dissemination
All new AMA lands will be added to DNR's Public Recreational Information Maps (PRIM).