Scientific and Natural Areas and Native Prairie Restoration, Enhancement & Acquisition

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient Type
State Government
Start Date
July 2010
End Date
June 2014
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Technical Assistance
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2010, Chp. 362, Sec. 2, Subd. 04b
Appropriation Language

$1,750,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire lands with high quality native plant communities and rare features to be established as scientific and natural areas as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5, restore parts of scientific and natural areas, and provide assistance and incentives for native prairie landowners. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum management standards as determined by the commissioner of natural resources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Project Overview

Minnesota's Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) Program is an effort to preserve and perpetuate the state's ecological diversity and ensure that no single rare feature is lost from any region of the state. This includes landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities, rare and endangered species, and other unique biotic or geological features. These sites play an important role in scientific study, public education, and outdoor recreation. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is using this appropriation to conduct restoration activities on approximately 3,200 acres in existing SNAs, to acquire an additional 80 acres to be added to the SNA system, and to provide technical assistance to private landowners of native prairie.

Permanent protection of biodiversity significance sites was achieved on 235 acres: 162 acres were acquired in fee as Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs) and 73 acres were protected through Native Prairie Bank (NPB) conservation easements. This appropriation helped create the new Mille Lakes Moraine SNA and Badoura Jack Pine Forest SNA. Additions were acquired to Blanket Flower Prairie and St. Wendel Tamarack Bog SNAs. Two NPB easements were acquired in the Correll Working Lands area. Seventeen NPB easement baseline property reports were completed.

Restoration and enhancement accomplishments on over 4,000 acres included: native seed collection from 186 acres (16 sites) and seeding of 68 acres (11 sites); invasives species control on 1,175 acres (about 73 sites), invasive species inventory on 2,646 acres (36 sites), and 4 invasives boot brush kiosks installed (3 sites); prescribed burning of 3,733 acres (54 sites); new interpretive signs for 5 SNAs and installation of other signs (31 sites); 4.3 miles of fence removed, repaired or built; and 6 sites cleaned up. About 84 of these projects involved CCM. Twenty-six adaptive management plans were completed by primarily by contractors (covering 5603 acres) all or in part with this appropriation. Ecological prairie monitoring has been conducted on pollinators at 14 SNAs, snakes at 1 SNA, birds at 2 SNAs, and prairie vegetation at 6 SNA and 6 NPB sites. Improvements to the Adaptive Management Spatial Database were implemented.

Prairie stewardship work was comprised of two prairie landowner workshops, three prairie practitioner forums, presentations at an environmental fair, and direct technical assistance to 75 native prairie landowners. Contractors prepared 36 Prairie Stewardship Plans and staff have completed 2 Prairie Stewardship Plans. All 500 Prairie Tax Exemption sites were reviewed, re-enrollment letters were sent to 250 PTE landowners, and 30 applications were processed.

Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Street Address
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul
Zip Code
(651) 259-5088