State Forest Acquisition, Richard J. Dorer Memorial Forest - Phase IV
$1,000,000 in the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire lands in fee for wildlife habitat purposes in the Richard J Dorer State Forest under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 7. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.
Forestlands and savannas are protected from parceliazation and fragmentation and accessible for resource management purposes - Forest and savanna habitat are protected from parcelization and fragmentation and accessible for resource management purposes. Protection from parcelization and fragmentation is measured by the miles of state/private boundary reduced by the acquisition. The goal of this project is a reduction by 7.0 miles. Protected corridors are measured by acres of existing state land made accessible..
This project will protect and enhance high priority habitat in fee for the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Forest in southeast Minnesota. This will include enhancing mixed deciduous forest lands through silvicultural practices and control of invasive species. The project will also provide additional opportunities for hunting in an area of the state where public hunting opportunities are limited. All projects will be done in accordance with the state forest land asset plans, RJ Dorer State Forest Plan and the SE MN Driftless Project Map.
Minnesota's population has grown by over 1 million people, to 5.3 million, in the past 20 years and is projected to continue this growth rate for the next 20 years. Thousands of acres of habitat continue to be converted to intensive commercial, residential, and agricultural development each year.This proposal will directly protect and provide public hunting opportunities to approximately 300 additional acres of critical forestland habitat and provide connective corridors to State Forest (SF) through fee acquisition. The strategy is to acquire parcels that will reduce owner fragmentation across the landscape. Parcels have been identified in area land asset management plans and fall into three classifications; those providing protection of a critical forest habitat, those consolidating fragmented forest habitat, and those providing permanent connectivity to state land for habitat management. This proposal continues the work of acquiring key land parcels from willing sellers.The forested parcels provide critical habitat for deer, turkey, many migratory birds and flora and fauna of special concern. These acquisitions will protect the declining forest base from fragmentation due to development and will also provide opportunities to further enhance habitat for as well as provide additional public hunting opportunities with the region.This project includes the initial land development of each parcel acquired including boundary surveys and signage, well and septic closure, building and dump disposal. Steps will be taken to restore lands to oak savanna and mixed deciduous forests and control the spread of terrestrial invasive species.This project includes all of the following activities: initial site reviews, negotiations with sellers, appraisals, environmental reviews and acquisition of fee title. All land will be open for public hunting and fishing.