Protecting Mississippi River Corridor Habitat ACUB Partnership , Phase 2

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Recipient Type
State Government
Start Date
July 2012
End Date
June 2014
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Counties Affected
Crow Wing
Crow Wing
Project Overview

Two permanent RIM Easements on 494 acres of high quality, riparian habitat in the Little Nokasippi WMA area of influence have been recorded and will provide lasting wildlife habitat.

Project Details

Accomplishment Plan

Four hundred ninety four (494) acres of recorded RIM easements protect the Nokasippi River, deepwater aquatic habitat DNR protected lakes, 63 acres of prairie, 103 acres of wetlands, and 328 acres of forested hardwoods and softwoods. These properties lie within the ACUB (Army Compatible Use Buffer) zone as it was reassessed . These easements continue the Phase 2 effort of buffering the Little Nokasippi WMA complex, which is the largest public hunting opportunity adjacent to the Mississippi between Brainerd and Anoka. It includes the largest single owner parcel in the WMA buffering initiative, but also a unique opportunity to protect one parcel that has had only 2 owners in 120 years. The area lends itself to prime development if not protected since it is vulnerable for development because it is made up of the type of waters, hills, and forest that are highly desired for residential development. In addition the property is very near black top infrastructure of Co. Rd. 2 and MN State Hwy 371. The interagency interdisciplinary project review team ranked these parcels as having the highest habitat value.

The landscape within which the projects are located is designated as one of the highest biodiversity landscapes in the state. The designation resulted from an eco-regional planning process through The Nature Conservancy which defined the landscape as the most functional/intact landscape within the Prairie Forest Eco-region. Also unique to the project area is the position within a larger habitat complex that encompasses the Mississippi River Corridor including the Mississippi Flyway and the rugged Eastern Bluff shoreline. What’s more the WMA includes the confluence of the Little Nokasippi River and the Nokasippi River which occupies 4,498 feet and 13, 161 feet of river shoreline, respectively. The confluence of the Nokasippi River with the Mississippi River is located about 1,000 feet west of the WMA. The habitat value of the project is reflected in the science based planning process that included the entire area as an Important Birding Area (IBA) according to the Audubon Society. The Little Nokasippi River WMA expansion ranks 10 among all WMA projects for the MNDNR.

7-14-2015 - LSOHC made change to database to add "Rate Set" check box for each parcel. Therefore the Final Report has now been submitted.

4-23-2015 - Changes have been made as requested by LSOHC staff and the Final Report will now be submitted.

1-21-2015 - Corrective NOFRs have now been recorded and uploaded to the LSOHC database for each parcel. The Final Report is now being submitted.

Final Report 11/13/2014 -

Accomplishments -

2 easements were recorded on 494.0 acres utilizing $480,000 of OHF funding.

The National Guard Bureau, County Governments, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, DNR, BWSR, and local landowners are all extremely satisfied with this project and we have been held up as a national model for both ACUB and wildlife habitat outcomes. The accomplishments of this project shows the success of a federal, state and local partnership working together with private landowners for multiple social and environmental outcomes.

A few LSOHC Database reporting notes -

1. Numbers are automatically rounded after they are entered which causes challenges with tracking budgets and progress.
2. In the approved Accomplishment Plan all acres and dollars were planned to be conducted in the Forest-Prairie Transition Ecological Section. In the end one easement for 44.9 acres is in the Forest-Prairie Transition Section and the remaining easement for 449.0 acres is located in the Northern Forest Section (along with the corresponding funding). In the Final Report Output Tables we are unable to enter data into the Northern Forest Section.
3. Easement 49-01-13-04 was split funded between ML10 and ML12 OHF funded ACUB projects. Only the acres and dollars corresponding to the ML12 OHF funding have been reported in this report.
4. In the original Accomplishment Plan some of the same acres were reported both as under Protect and Habitats categories. Subsequent LSOHC staff guidance was given to only show easement accomplishments in the Protect line. Therefore the Output Table appears to show less acres than was originally planned but in fact more acres of easements were secured than was originally planned.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
ML 2012, Ch. 264, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 3(a)
Appropriation Language

$480,000 in the second year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements on land adjacent to the Nokasippi River and the boundaries of the Minnesota National Guard Army compatible use buffer (ACUB). A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan. The accomplishment plan must include an easement stewardship plan. Up to $4,800 is for establishing a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. An annual financial report is required for any monitoring and enforcement fund established, including expenditures from the fund and a description of annual monitoring and enforcement activities

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Measurable Outcome(s)

494 acres

Source of Additional Funds


Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Street Address
1601 Minnesota Drive
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155

651- 296-3767