Minnesota's Legacy

Statewide Scientific and Natural Area Acquisition and Restoration

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient Type
State Government
Start Date
July 2009
End Date
June 2012
Activity Type
Capital Development/Rehabilitation
Land Acquisition
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009, Chp. 143, Sec. 2, Subd. 04d
Appropriation Language

$590,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire high quality native plant communities and rare features and restore parts of scientific and natural areas as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program.

2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
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 Area (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 unique landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities, rare and endangered species, or 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 600 acres in existing SNAs and to acquire an additional 100 acres to be added to the SNA system.

Overall Project Outcome and Results
Acquisition and SNA designation of five properties at three SNAs was completed permanently protecting and providing for public use of 207.32 acres (pro-rated as 106.4 acres with this appropriation). Acquisitions include the following:

  • A new SNA was established with acquisition of the 14.72-acre Morton Outcrops SNA - the heart of a 65-acre exceptional and geologically significant Minnesota River valley rock outcrop site with seven rare species - located in Renville County.
  • Two additions totaling 105.7 acres (pro-rated as 50.3 acres for this appropriation) to the Hastings Sand Coulee SNA were acquired; along with a 78-acre adjoining tract transferred from DNR Wildlife, these acquisitions mean that 267 acres is now protected as SNA out of the ~500-acre sand coulee area which is the largest remaining sand prairie complex in Dakota County and is home to 14 rare species including three snakes and two butterflies.
  • Two native prairie sites were added to Blanket Flower Prairie SNA in Clay County which now protects about 430 acres of habitat for 106 bird species including the greater prairie chicken: a 14-acre addition was acquired with this appropriation; and the 135.9-acre Ole Huseby Homestead addition to Blanket Flower Prairie SNA was acquired in part with this funding (pro-rated as 27.4 acres for this appropriation).

A total of 563 acres at 27 SNAs across the state received restoration and enhancement work, plus development projects were completed at 17 SNAs, thus increasing the native habitat quality and public use of these SNAs. In summary:

  • One 11-acre prairie reconstruction project was completed.
  • Woody invasive/non-native species were removed on 202 acres at 11 SNAs and herbaceous or seedling invasive species were removed at another 44 acres at four SNAs.
  • Prescribed burning was completed on 317 acres at nine SNAs.
  • New Adaptive Management Plans were completed for two sites.

Conservation Corps Minnesota (CCM) was involved in these projects at ten SNAs.

Project Results Use and Dissemination
Information about Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) sites, including those SNAs with new acquisition, restoration, enhancement and development activities through this appropriation, is available on the DNR website (www.mndnr.gov/snas). DNR-sponsored volunteer events are regularly posted at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteering/sna/index. The Hastings Sand Coulee SNA acquisition was referenced in articles in the Hastings Gazette and the Friends of the Mississippi River website.

Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Street Address
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul
Zip Code