Minnesota County Biological Survey

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,125,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,125,000
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient
MN DNR
Recipient Type
State Government
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
June 2013
Activity Type
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Digitization/Online Information Access
Technical Assistance
Analysis/Interpretation
Monitoring
Mapping
Inventory
Counties Affected
Statewide
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 03a
Appropriation Language

$1,125,000 the first year and $1,125,000 the second year are from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for continuation of the Minnesota county biological survey to provide a foundation for conserving biological diversity by systematically collecting, interpreting, and delivering data on plant and animal distribution and ecology, native plant communities, and functional landscapes.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,125,000
Other Funds Leveraged
$700,000
Direct expenses
$1,125,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
8.31
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. 03a
Appropriation Language

$1,125,000 the first year and $1,125,000 the second year are from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for continuation of the Minnesota county biological survey to provide a foundation for conserving biological diversity by systematically collecting, interpreting, and delivering data on plant and animal distribution and ecology, native plant communities, and functional landscapes.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,125,000
Direct expenses
$1,125,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
8.31
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Project Overview

PROJECT OVERVIEW
The Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS) is an ongoing effort begun in 1987 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that is systematically surveying, county-by-county, the state's natural habitats. The effort identifies significant natural areas and collects and interprets data on the status, distribution, and ecology of plants, animals, and native plant communities throughout the state. Through July 2011, surveys have been completed in 81 of Minnesota's 87 counties and have added nearly 17,000 new records of rare features to the DNR's information systems. MCBS data is used by all levels of government in natural resource planning and use decisions, including prioritization of protection of park lands and scientific and natural areas. This appropriation will permit continuation of the survey in Lake, St. Louis, Clearwater, and Beltrami counties and begin initial surveying in Koochiching and Lake of the Woods counties. Additionally one book will be published: a natural history guidebook of the Aspen Parkland-Red River Valley region of MN.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
The need to protect and manage functional ecological systems, including ecological processes and component organisms continues to accelerate with increased demands for water and energy, continued habitat fragmentation, loss of species and genetic diversity, invasive species expansion, and changing environmental conditions.

Since 1987 the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS) has systematically collected, interpreted and delivered baseline data on the distribution and ecology of plants, animals, native plant communities, and functional landscapes. These data help prioritize actions to conserve and manage Minnesota's ecological systems and critical components of biological diversity.

During this project period baseline surveys continued, focused largely in northern Minnesota (see map). One highlight was data collection in remote areas of the patterned peatlands that included three helicopter-assisted field surveys coordinated with other researchers to increase the knowledge of this ecological system and to continue long-term collaborative monitoring.

Another goal was to begin monitoring to measure the effectiveness of management and policy activities. For example, prairie vegetation and small white lady's slipper monitoring began in western Minnesota sites in response to ecological measures identified in the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan 2010.

MCBS also provided data and interpretation related to the DNR's forest certification goals and began monitoring activities in selected sites in the Aspen Parkland and in southeastern Minnesota.

Since July 2011 new records of 929 rare features were added to the Rare Features Database. Since 1987, MCBS has added a total of 20,018 new rare feature records. Statewide 10,192 MCBS sites of Biodiversity Significance and 63,232 polygons of native plant communities are now publically available on the DNR's Data Deli. Since 1987, MCBS has contributed 4,972 of the 9,467 Minnesota vegetation plot records in the DNR's Releve (vegetation plot) Database. Since 1987 botanists documented 1,194 rare aquatic plants during targeted aquatic plant surveys of 1,872 lakes.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION<
Results and interpretation of data included web-delivery, technical assistance and publications that are identified in more detail in the final report.

For example, in 2013 MCBS reports of vegetation observed in 1836 lakes were added as a link in the Lakefinder application Native Orchids of Minnesota was published that included substantial new distributional information from survey botanists. Substantial progress was made on a book related to natural history sites in NW Minnesota based in part on MCBS work in that region.

Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Carmen
Last Name
Converse
Organization Name
MN DNR
Street Address
500 Lafayette Rd
City
St Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55155
Phone
(651) 259-5083
Email
carmen.converse@state.mn.us