MeCC V - Mapping and Coordination (1.1)
Project Outcome and Results
The Metro Conservation Corridors (MeCC) Partnership completed its fifth phase of work to accelerate protection and restoration of remaining high-quality natural lands in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. Work was accomplished by strategically coordinating and focusing conservation efforts within a connected network of critical lands that stretches from the area's urban core to its rural perimeter, including portions of 16 counties.
Projects and activities took place within science-based corridors and were guided by the Minnesota Statewide Conservation and Preservation Plan, Minnesota's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, as well as numerous local and resource-specific plans. This project addressed several recommendations of the Statewide Conservation and Preservation Plan:
- Protect priority land habitats
- Protect critical shorelands of streams and lakes
- Restore land, wetlands, and wetland-associated watersheds
- Improve connectivity and access to outdoor recreation
The Mapping and Coordination element of the MeCC Partnership provided coordination and leadership for the partnership by Minnesota Land Trust staff and improved prioritization through enhanced database development and mapping of the corridors by DNR staff.
During this phase of work, the coordination activity included regular meetings of the partners to share information and accomplishments, assisting partners with preparation of reports, compiling overall partnership results, and assisting DNR staff with the mapping, database development, and results tracking. The mapping activity included successful development and refinement of a GIS-based database to track historic and current MeCC projects. The database allows partners to generate tables and reports for status and accomplishment reporting for a variety of MeCC components - from project types, to funding sources, to activities, to partnerships, to location analysis. It also links to an interactive web map where the public can see the locations of completed projects.
Although we had originally hoped to complete a mini-evaluation of the MeCC Partnership, due to the time involved in mapping and compiling historic project data, there was not time to complete the evaluation.
Project Results Use and Dissemination
The Metro Conservation Corridors Partnership primarily distributed information through individual partners as projects were completed. Partners publicized accomplishments through press releases and organization newsletters and websites. Additionally, the Partnership now has a public web map where the public can view MeCC projects. This web map can be accessed at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/MeCC/mapper.html.
$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".