The Native Prairie Bank Program will work with willing landowners to permanently protect 415 acres of native prairie and supporting habitat in perpetual conservation easements. Easement acquisition will focus on Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan identified landscapes and target Minnesota Biological Survey identified threatened and endangered plant and animal species, high quality plant communities, and key habitats for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and other wildlife species.
“Acquiring Land and Creating Opportunities - A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘create new and expanded park and trail opportunities to satisfy current customers as well as to reach out to new ones’.
The Anoka Sandplain Partnership proposal will restore/enhance 245 acres and 1.20 mi shoreline; and protect 80 acres of wildlife habitat on priority public lands principally within the Anoka Sandplain Ecological Region within the Metropolitan Urbanizing and Forest-Prairie Transition sections.
The DNR is working with local communities and an interagency team to define, prioritize, and establish groundwater management areas in Minnesota. Groundwater management areas will have increased data collection and monitoring that allow the state and local communities to understand water supplies, uses, limitations, and threats to natural resources that depend on groundwater. This information will support detailed aquifer protection plans that ensure equitable and sustainable groundwater and drinking water use for the future.
Governor Mark Dayton's landmark buffer initiative was signed into law in 2015. The law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along rivers, streams, and ditches that will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The new law provides flexibility and financial support for landowners to install and maintain buffers.
The DNR's role in Minnesota's new buffer law is to produce a statewide map of public waters and public ditches that require permanent vegetation buffers. The DNR is scheduled to produce these maps by July 2016.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has ranked this acquisition as Number 6 nationally, and has included $3.5 million in the President's FY 2017 Budget to acquire 2,250 acres of inholdings along Bushmen Lake, bordering the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) on three sides. The Conservation Fund has been asked by the U.S. Forest Service to assist with the acquisition and requests funds from the LSOHC to permanently protect this habitat to secure over 4 miles of legal access to Superior National Forest and provide critical habitat for moose and Canada Lynx.
The Cannon River Watershed Habitat Complex Phase VII program will protect in fee and restore approximately 220 acres of high priority wildlife habitat within and near the Cannon River Watershed, including wetlands, prairies, Big Woods forest, and river/shallow lake shoreline. Its goal is to reverse habitat loss, prevent degradation of water quality, improve watershed function, and provide public access.
Washington County's Carnelian Creek Conservation Corridor contains one of the largest unprotected wildlife habitat complexes within the metropolitan area and has been identified as one of the County's top conservation priorities. The Minnesota Land Trust and Washington County will protect 369 acres of the Corridor's most threatened, high quality forest and aquatic habitat in this first phase of the project.
“Connecting People to the Outdoors- A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘better develop Minnesota’s stewards of tomorrow through efforts to increase life-long participation in parks and trails.’
The Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program will be managed by the Department of Natural Resources to provide competitive matching grants of up to $400,000 to local, regional, state, and national non-profit organizations and government entities. In it's first 7 years of funding, the CPL program has provided 410 grants totaling $37 million to 133 different grantee organizations, positively affecting over 220,000 acres of habitat. Demand for CPL grants has continued to grow each year as new grantees hear about the program and successful grantees return.
Provide continued contract management and customer service to OHF pass-through appropriation recipients. Ensure funds are expended in compliance with appropriation law, state statute, grants policies, and approved accomplishment plans.
“Coordinating with Partners- A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘enhance coordination across the large and complex network of public, private, and non-profit partners that support Minnesota’s parks and trails to ensure seamless, enjoyable park and trail experiences for Minnesotans.’
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to convey valuable geologic and groundwater information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, private organizations and citizens.
This project will protect 1 mile of critical shoreland and 330 acres associated high-quality wildlife habitats in Minnesota's Northeast region by securing permanent conservation easements in strategic locations along priority lakes and rivers, creating protected habitat complexes.
This program provides critical assistance to MN DNR Parks and Trails Division Regional and District offices to assist with renewal and rehabilitation efforts prioritized locally by field staff. Projects include the following types: State Park Building and Facilities Emergency Repair and Maintenance, Paved Trail Maintenance and Asset Preservation, and State Park and State Forest Trail Renewal. This project is a newly reorganized budget area that consolidates these three smaller project areas reported on in previous years.
Acquire 960 acres of high priority habitat for designation as Wildlife Management Area (Prairie Planning Section) or Scientific and Natural Area (Prairie and SE Forest Planning Sections) emphasizing Prairie Conservation Plan implementation and coordination with partners. All lands will be open for public hunting and fishing (where applicable). WMA accomplishment is based on $5,000 per acre and should be considered a minimum estimate.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restore or enhance habitat to facilitate fish passage, restore degraded streams, and enhance habitat critical to fish and other aquatic life. Projects are prioritized based on ecological benefit, urgency, feasibility, and stakeholder support.
The Division of Parks and Trails is creating innovative programs to attract new audiences, particularly young families, to Minnesota state parks and trails. Skill-building programs, such as "I Can Camp!," provide a trial opportunity by eliminating the barriers of needing to have pre-existing knowledge or gear for the activity. Special events, such as National Get Outdoors Day, generate enthusiasm and a sense of urgency to visit. Gateway programs introduce visitors to a host of outdoor pursuits, including those offered by other divisions of the Minnesota DNR.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health to determine the level of contamination from mercury and other harmful chemicals in fish from Minnesota's lakes and rivers and to track the success of efforts to reduce mercury pollution. Clean Water Legacy funding is being used to significantly increase (more than double) the number of lakes and rivers that are assessed for mercury contamination on an annual basis. Fish are collected during DNR fishery surveys, processed for laboratory testing, and analyzed for contaminants.
The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation in partnership with the Minnesota Land Trust will protect high priority critical fish habitat and the surrounding watersheds on 38 tullibee "refuge" lakes by securing conservation easements. We will permanently protect approximately 400 acres. If a lake's watershed has less than 25% land disturbance the lake has a high probability to maintain clean water and healthy lake ecosystem. State of Minnesota reports indicate this region could see 64% population growth by 2030.
The Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Forest Resources Council work with forest landowners, managers and loggers to implement a set of voluntary sustainable forest management guidelines that include water quality best management practices (BMPs) to ensure sustainable habitat, clean water, and productive forest soils, all contributing to healthy watersheds. This project will monitor the implementation of these forest management guidelines and BMPs on forested watersheds in MN.
The Goose Prairie Marsh Enhancement Project will give resource mangers the capacity to manage water levels in Goose Prairie Marsh through installation of a water control structure and a new outlet channel from the marsh to the control structure. The primary purpose of the project is to improve habitat conditions within the shallow lake and the associated upland habitats within and adjacent to the existing WMA. Secondary benefits include additional protections of lands adjacent to the WMA and improved water quality and spring flood risk reduction downstream.
This on-going program is for detecting, mapping and controlling invasive plant species and re-establishing native vegetation in their place on lands administered by the Division of Parks and Trails. Control of invasive plant species furthers progress to preserve and restore the quality of native plant communities on Parks and Trails lands as well as helps prevent the spread of invasives to new locations.
The Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a tool that can identify water pollution problems based on the type and abundance of selected plants or animals. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) uses IBIs for fish and macroinvertebrates (stream-dwelling insects and other critters) in streams to help determine whether these waterways are impacted by water pollution. The DNR has developed a similar tool for fish in lakes and is developing a tool for aquatic plants. Both are used to help the MPCA identify lakes that may be impacted by water pollution.
Kandiyohi County's Lake Wakanda Enhancement Project is a one-time funding request to construct four water control structures and fish barriers. This comprehensive project will protect and enhance critical fish and wildlife habitat on the 1,754-acre shallow lake. Located at the headwaters of the South Fork of the Crow River, which flows into the Mississippi, Lake Wakanda is part of a prairie chain of lakes near Willmar, Minnesota.
This program is to restore acres of state parks and trails land to native plant communities. MS 86A.05 directs PAT to preserve, perpetuate and restore natural features in state parks that were present in the area of the park at the time of European settlement. Approximately 31 restoration projects have been completed, are in progress, or will be implemented in the spring of 2012, at over 20 state park units. These projects total 1,283 acres.