Reinvest in MN Wetlands Reserve Acq. & Restoration Program Partnership

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient Type
State Government
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
June 2014
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Technical Assistance
Counties Affected
Project Overview

The Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Wetlands Reserve Program restores wetlands and grasslands through the purchase of permanent conservation easements on privately owned land. The easements limit future land use and put conservation plans in place for future management. The Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources is using this appropriation to accelerate the RIM Wetlands Reserve Program resulting in additional permanently protected wetlands and grasslands throughout the state.

The Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) - Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) partnership is a local-state-federal partnership delivered locally by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), and county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The goal of the RIM-WRP partnership is to protect land with perpetual conservation easements and restore high quality wetlands and native grassland in order to maximize wetland functions and values and optimize wildlife habitat. For this particular project, ENTRF funds were used to secure permanent conservation easements via the RIM-WRP partnership as part of a larger effort to protect and restore the drained Crooked Lake basin in Douglas County, MN.

The Crooked Lake Restoration project is a multi-partner project that aims to restore the drained shallow lake bed, which prior to its drainage in the early 1900s was home to diverse populations of aquatic invertebrates and provided thousands of acres of critical wildlife habitat. Project outcomes include reduced nutrient loading and sedimentation to nearby (impaired) Lake Osakis and improved water quality throughout the Sauk River watershed. The Crooked Lake restoration project was deemed a Federal priority in 2011 by USDA under the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI). Led by both the Douglas Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Sauk River Watershed District and with the cooperation of USDA NRCS, BWSR, Ducks Unlimited, and many other local, state, and federal partners, the Crooked Lake Project evolved over the past decade.

Primary goals to restore this shallow lake for wildlife and water quality purposes have been at the forefront. The proposed pool elevation (1334.0'), along with adjacent upland makes up the project boundary. Scoring criteria was developed that had the highest priority applications being those located within the pool and secondary priority was then directed at the associated adjacent land to the pool.

ENTRF funds were used to protect 630.7 acres with perpetual conservation easements on which 586 acres of wetlands and 45 acres of associated upland/grassland will be restored, providing multiple ecological and wildlife benefits and assisting with local water quality goals.

Public outreach for this project was conducted at the local level by Douglas SWCD, local NRCS staff, and other program partners. SWCD staff held public meetings to raise awareness of this project and to educate landowners about the public and ecological benefits of restoring the drained lake bed. SWCD staff also met with landowners in the project area one-on-one to discuss the options/benefits of enrolling in either the RIM-WRP or WREP conservation easement options available in the project area.

More information about the RIM-WRP program can be found online at

The ENTRF funded RIM-WRP easements (as with all RIM and RIM-WRP easements) can be viewed by the public via the BWSR webmap located at

Project Details
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 09d
Appropriation Language

$1,645,000 the first year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements and restore wetlands and associated upland habitat in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture Wetlands Reserve Program. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Direct expenses
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Board of Water and Soil Resources
Street Address
520 Lafayette Rd N
Saint Paul
Zip Code
(651) 296-2570
Administered By
Administered by

520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155

651- 296-3767