MeCC V - Metro SNA Acquisition, Restoration & Enhancement (2.7/3.6)
$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
Nearly 150 acres of high quality native habitat threatened by urban development was acquired and added to two metro Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs). First, 80 acres were acquired (36.7 acres pro-rated to this appropriation) and added to the Hastings Sand Coulee SNA. The addition contains native oak savanna and prairie and increases this SNA to 267 acres. Thus, more than half of this largest remaining prairie complex in Dakota County is protected for its 13 resident rare species (including 3 snake and 2 butterfly species) and for public use, including hiking and nature observation. Second, about 70 acres - including public fishing frontage on the Credit River - was acquired (6.2 acres pro-rated to this appropriation) and added to the Savage Fen SNA in Scott County. These sites offer urban residents close-to-home nature-based recreation, including a new archery hunting opportunity on 300 acres at Savage Fen SNA.
SNA restoration and enhancement activities were completed on 187 acres at 13 SNAs in 7 counties in the greater metropolitan area. For example, a 55-acre prairie was reconstructed (restored) at Lost Valley Prairie SNA with the help of volunteers and a Sentence-to-Serve crew using seed collected on site by hand and mechanically harvested by the SNA crew. Almost 100 acres was prescribed burned at 5 SNAs. About 34 acres received invasive species control actions, including work by Conservation Corps Minnesota. These activities result in better habitat for the SNAs' rare features and improved quality for users of SNAs.
Project Results Use and Dissemination
Information about Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) sites, including those SNAs with new acquisition, restoration, enhancement and development activities through this appropriation, is available on the DNR website (www.mndnr.gov/snas). DNR-sponsored volunteer events, such as those involved in the Lost Valley Prairie, are regularly posted at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteering/sna/index. Both of the acquisition projects received publicity in local newspapers and in partner organization newsletters. Specifically, Savage Fen SNA acquisition was publicized in the Shakopee Valley News and in the Trust for Public Land's electronic newsletter and electronic invite. The Hastings Sand Coulee SNA acquisition was referenced in articles in the Hastings Gazette and the Friends of the Mississippi River website.