This project will obtain spatial and long-term pollutant load information from the Root River watershed in Southeast Minnesota. To accomplish this, the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will assist the MPCA with water quality monitoring and annual pollutant loading calculations. Approximately 25 grab samples will be collected/site/year at 5 sites within the Root River watershed (totaling 125 grab samples/year). Annual load calculations for each site will be determined using the FLUX32 model.
This project will work with the MPCA to conduct watershed pollutant load monitoring at four sites in the Chippewa River watershed and one site in the neighboring Pomme de Terre River watershed . The Chippewa River Watershed Project (CRWP) team will also aid the MPCA in measuring and comparing regional differences and long-term trends in water quality. The goal is to collect quality data and complete load calculations for the five sites using the MPCA's established protocols.
Two large, actively eroding gullies located a few miles apart in Amador Township are contributing tremendous loads of phosphorus and sediment to the St. Croix River. One gully (Gully A) includes a major agricultural gully, severe road erosion, and sediment deposits of a foot or more thick in a state park. The second gully (Gully B) is over 4 feet deep, adjacent to a road, and is an annual problem. Stabilizing these two gullies will greatly reduce the sediment and phosphorus loading to the St. Croix River, which will help meet the reduction goal of the Lake St.
Using a previous escarpment gully project as a model, the Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District will complete a similar inventory of actively eroding gullies along the Lower Sunrise River from the Kost Dam south to the confluence with the St. Croix, which includes the North Branch of the Sunrise, Hay Creek, and the Sunrise River main branch. There are major erosion issues along this stretch of river, no organized and efficient way to begin work in the area. The inventory report will provide the missing link.
The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District has been successful in implementing Best Management Practices in certain targeted locations within the county, including the prioritized and assessed areas of Chisago City, Lindstrom, and Center City. However, there are many areas that want to implement conservation projects but aren't within targeted areas. This award will empower community partners, especially lake associations, to award grants for rain gardens, shoreline buffers, and other worthwhile projects to improve water quality.
The Pomme de Terre River Association has targeted and identified specific areas and activities required for marked water quality improvement. This project will implement of 16 Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBs), 28 Rain Gardens, 2 Shoreline/ Stream bank stabilization, 10 Waste Pit Closures, 1 Terrace Project, and the enrollment of 1900 acres into conservation practices. These practices in total will directly result in site-specific and watershed-dependent reductions of 17,801 tons of sediment and 17,784 pounds of phosphorous from entering surface waters yearly in the watershed.
The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has had such great success implementing gully stabilization projects along the St. Croix River escarpment that all of the current grant funding has been encumbered towards projects. Two large gully projects, one in the City of Taylors Falls and a second nearby in Interstate State Park, are lined up and ready to go as soon as funding is secured. Both of these gullies are large and have been actively eroding for many years, depositing large loads of sediment and phosphorus directly into the St. Croix River.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in in the 67 counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
The goal of the Pomme de Terre River Association (JPB) is to improve the local water resources within the watershed through targeted voluntary efforts and the building of strong relationships with local landowners, producers, and citizens. The Pomme de Terre River is currently not meeting state water quality for sediment. The purpose of this project is to strategically work towards a 53% sediment reduction goal at the mouth of the Pomme de Terre River based on a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy document.
Goose, East and West Rush Lakes are not meeting state water quality standards due to excessive phosphorus. These are three of the worst lakes in Chisago County in terms of water quality, yet also some of the most heavily used lakes for recreation. The quality of the water in the St. Croix River is directly influenced by the poor quality water leaving East Rush, West Rush, and Goose Lakes.
This project will create a culvert inventory for Cook County, Minnesota. The inventory will include the minimum data required in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources ?Stream Crossing Basic Assessment Form? to be consistent with inventory work being done statewide and in other CWF grant projects such as the Lake County culvert inventory. While the watersheds in northeast Minnesota contain some of the least-polluted waters in the state, development and climate change pose an increased threat to aquatic resources if culverts are not installed, retrofitted, or replaced properly.
The Chisago Lakes Chain of Lakes watershed in southern Chisago County is made up of 18 lakes and outlets to the St. Croix River through the Sunrise River. The top 20 urban and rural projects around North and South Center Lakes that are identified in the Rural Subwatershed Assessment and Urban Stormwater Retrofit Analysis reports will be the top priority of this application. The goal is a phosphorus reduction of 100 pounds (4%) to North and South Center Lakes.
The Mallery Jerseys dairy farm is critically located along the bluff of the St. Croix River escarpment and drains directly to the St. Croix River. In 2018, a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan was completed and identified a number of additional practices that should be implemented to improve the water quality of the St. Croix River. The proposed practices will reduce the phosphorus and nitrogen by 76 pounds (83%)and 265 pounds (85%) respectively.
A large, actively eroding gully has existed on the campus of Parmly, a senior living complex in Chisago City, for at least 50 years. The gully is on the banks of Green Lake, which is at high risk for becoming impaired in the near future. The Parmly gully project is identified as a source of untreated stormwater and phosphorus loading in the Chisago City urban subwatershed retrofit analysis report. Stabilization of the gully will provide a 20% reduction in phosphorus loading to Green Lake. The staff of Parmly is in full support of the project and a design is complete.
The St. Croix River escarpment has been a focal point for the Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District over the past 8 years, and continues to be one of the leading areas of Chisago County in terms of phosphorus reduction projects to Lake St. Croix. Of the original inventory, 16 of the 36 gullies have been stabilized. This application includes the stabilization of 5 gullies. These projects will reduce the phosphorus loading to the St. Croix River by at least 50 pounds per year and sediment loading by at least 50 tons per year.
This proposal accelerates the strategic permanent protection of 915 acres (220 wetlands and 695 grasslands) of Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) open to public hunting in Minnesota. Pheasants Forever (PF) will strategically acquire parcels that are adjacent to existing public land or create corridors between complexes. All acquisitions will occur in the prairie, prairie/forest transition, or metro regions.
This proposal accelerates the protection of 1,030 acres of strategic prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitats as State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) open to public hunting. Pheasants Forever (PF) will be acquiring tracts that build onto or create a corridor between existing protected lands which will be transferred to the MN Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) to be included as a WMA. All acquisitions will occur within the prairie, prairie/forest transition, and metro planning regions. These areas have seen the greatest decline in upland and wetland habitat.
This programmatic proposal accelerates the protection and restoration of 1,073 acres of strategic prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitats as State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) open to public hunting. Pheasants Forever (PF) will be protecting parcels that build onto or create a corridor between existing protected lands which will be transferred to the MN Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) to be included as a WMA. All acquisitions will occur within the prairie, prairie/forest transition, and metro planning regions.
This proposal accelerates the strategic permanent protection of 1,003 acres (241 wetlands and 762 grasslands) of Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) open to public hunting in Minnesota. Pheasants Forever (PF) will strategically acquire parcels that are adjacent to existing public land or create corridors between complexes. All acquisitions will occur in the prairie, prairie/forest transition, or metro regions.
This Phase 2 partnership will accelerate USFWS wildlife habitat easements to restore and protect 775 acres of private grasslands and pothole wetlands in west-central Minnesota, and restore 50 additional prairie-wetland acres too. These "working land" conservation easements allow delayed haying and grazing while protecting restored wetlands and prairie grasslands for nesting ducks, pheasants, and other wildlife.
This proposal accelerates the strategic permanent protection of 611 acres (122 acres of wetlands and 489 acres of grassland habitat) of Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) open to public hunting in Minnesota. Pheasants Forever (PF) will strategically acquire parcels that are adjacent to existing public land or create corridors between complexes. All acquisitions will occur in the prairie, prairie/forest transition, or metro regions.
This is the twelfth phase to accelerate the protection and restoration of 540 acres of strategic prairie grasslands, associated wetlands and other wildlife habitats as State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) open to public hunting. Pheasants Forever (PF) will be permanently protecting strategic parcels within the prairie, prairie/forest transition, and metro planning regions which will be restored and transferred to the MN Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) to be included as a WMA.
Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered to permanently protect, restore and enhance 1,630 acres of grassland and 294 acres of wetland as Waterfowl Production Areas in Western and Southern Minnesota. All lands acquired will be owned and managed in perpetuity by the USFWS as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System and open for public recreation.
We protected 22.3 miles of trout streams and 1.3 miles of lakeshore via easements (585 acres in total), and 7.4 miles (504 acres) of lakeshore through fee-title purchase. We enhanced shoreline habitat on 524 acres of riparian land, and instream habitat on 3.1 miles of trout streams and 0.5 miles of warmwater rivers.
This appropriation funded 283 projects totaling 21,953 acres. The two largest types of enhancement were 112 woody removal projects totaling 10,160 acres and 134 prescribed burns totaling 10,082 acres. Additionally, we seeded 30 sites totaling 1386 acres, put in infrastructure for conservation grazing of 236 acres on 3 sites, conducted 3 oak savanna enhancements totaling 42 acres, and treated 47 acres of invasive species on 2 sites.
This program of on-the-ground conservation projects increased the wildlife and ecological values of forest communities on Minnesota's public forestlands. Restoration and enhancement projects in this program enhanced more than 10,000 acres of forest.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Accelerated Prairie Grassland Restoration and Management Program had a successful first round of funding from the Legacy Funds. The program worked through the growing pains and obstacles in getting a new program up and operational and was successful in enhancing nearly 5,800 acres of prairie and grasslands in eight of the ecological subsections of Minnesota. A contractor base has been established for this type of work statewide that needs to be evaluated and expanded on for future appropriations.
Ducks Unlimited enhanced 6,882 wetland acres through the bio-engineering and installation of water control structures on managed shallow lake outlets for Minnesota DNR, and protected 76 wetland and 103 upland acres on a shallow lake through a purchased conservation easement.
With these funds we were able to restore, protect, and enhance 24,611 acres of native and restored grassland in Minnesota. Much of this work was done through the DNR Roving Crews, a new program funded with these dollars that has significantly increased the state's habitat management capabilities. In addition to these enhancement activities we were able to enroll acres in the DNR's Native Prairie Bank Easement Program as well as acquire acres for the SNA program.
This program will increase populations of a variety of game and non-game wildlife species by protecting and enhancing forest habitats on which wildlife depends. This program of on-the-ground forest conservation projects will amplify the wildlife value of forest communities on DNR administered forestlands. Our forest enhancement will treat 4,472 ac. These activities are not conducted as part of the DNR's commercial timber operations. Additionally, our program will acquire 404 acres of forestland that contributes to habitat complexes and other high priorities.
Accomplishments of the appropriation include: i) protection of 3.9 miles of shoreline; ii) modification of 4 lake outlet structures to allow fish passage, benefiting 1,264 acres; iii) enhanced river and stream functions at 15 sites, benefiting over 17 river miles; and iv) enhance 4.5 miles of shoreline habitat on publicly-owned lakeshore.
The table below provides a short summary of the acres and sites accomplished. We enhanced or restored 59,495 acres in 458 separate habitat projects.Project Type # Sites # AcresFencing for conserv grazing 6 721grassland conversion 33 1,124Invasive Species Control 43 1,599mowing 3 104Prescribed burn 214 48,368Restoration 13 123Woody Removal 146 7,457