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.
Many of Minnesota's wetlands have been lost and the remainder degraded. The original proposal planned for 15,000 acres of wetland/shallow lake enhancement to provide critical habitat for each life stage of waterfowl and wetland wildlife. The six projects subsequently completed with this appropriation enhanced 13,800 acres of wetlands and shallow lakes in the Prarie and Forest/Prairie Ecosections of Minnestoa.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ducks Unlimited and Minnesota DNR Section of Wildlife completed 26 project affecting 7,603 acres, including three wetland restoration projects restoring 97 acres, 18 shallow lake enhancement projects enhancing 7,154 wetland acres, and five fee-title land acquisition projects protecting 352 acres.
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
This program accelerated the permanent protection of 2,267 acres of wetlands (465 acres) and grasslands (1,802 acres) as Waterfowl Production Areas open to public hunting in Minnesota. Over the course of the appropriation, PF acquired 18 parcels for a total of 2,267 acres which exceeded our total acre goal of 2,250 acres by 17 acres. Breaking down acres by ecological section we exceeded our acre goal for both the metropolitan area by 61 acres and in the prairie area by 346 acres. We have exceeded anticipated match of $5,125,000 by $771,500.
CMSM opened its new permanent site with increased capacity to serve as an informal learning center that playfully engages children, families, and school groups in interactive experiences with the art and cultural heritage of southern Minnesota. With its current appropriation, CMSM is poised to strengthen its core as an institution that promotes arts and cultural heritage learning through continued
CMSM will build upon the work that began with its 2015-16 appropriation by (1) Remediation and further development of exhibit areas that promote Arts & Cultural Heritage (ACH) learning (2) Expanding ACH learning opportunities for new audiences at off-site locations; (3) Engaging an outside Evaluation Consultant to help plan/implement strategies that meaningfully assess ACH learning outcomes and impacts; (4) Boosting the Museum’s capacity to serve more school/early learning groups.
Through funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund and other leveraged sources, the Anoka Sandplain Partnership restored and enhanced 4,278 acres of oak savanna, prairie, and oak woodland habitat across 11 priority sites.
With funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund and other leveraged sources, the Anoka Sand Plain Partnership restored/enhanced 1,866 acres of priority wildlife habitat within the Anoka Sand Plain and in the Rum River watershed in east-central Minnesota.
The Cannon River Watershed is a diverse watershed from the standpoint of topography, land use, and land cover, but a central issue of concern is increased sedimentation and turbidity within the river. One of the best ways to keep sediment from entering the Cannon River is to install vegetative buffers on the smaller tributaries in the upper reaches of the watershed. This project is important as it aims to help identify strategic locations where buffers are needed and to assist landowners to install buffers that will directly help reduce sedimentation within the watershed.
The goal of this project is to apply the Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) model to evaluate scenarios to support potential management actions and implementation in the watershed, construct Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies, and to develop a conceptual site model of the lakes for understanding phosphorus release.
Continued TMDL project to support next phases associated with completion of TMDL's for ten lakes in the Carnelian Marine Saint Croix Watershed District (CMSCWD). Ten lakes are; East Boot, Fish, Goose, Hay, Jellum’s, Long, Loon, Louise, Mud and South Twin.
This program will restore and enhance in-stream and riparian fish and wildlife habitat in 11 watersheds across the state of Minnesota. The proposed projects will improve habitat for both game and non-game fish and wildlife species uniquely associated with cold water trout streams and provide expanded recreational opportunities for Minnesota anglers.
In-stream and riparian habitat was enhanced along six reaches of coldwater streams located in existing Aquatic Management Areas. The projects improved habitat for both game and non-game fish and wildlife species uniquely associated with coldwater trout streams and expanded recreational opportunities.
Minnesota Trout Unlimited enhanced in-stream and riparian fish and wildlife habitat in and along coldwater streams located on public lands and Aquatic Management Areas. We completed all 9 projects originally proposed and three additional. Contracting efficiencies and leveraging of other funding allowed us to add two habitat enhancement projects in southeast Minnesota and another segment on the Sucker River in northeast Minnesota. We enhanced 10 more acres of habitat than originally proposed and increased leverage by $121,700 (67%).
Minnesota Trout Unlimited enhanced in-stream and riparian fish and wildlife habitat in and along coldwater streams and lakes located on public lands and Aquatic Management Areas. We originally proposed 11 projects, yet completed 13 projects. Contracting efficiencies and leveraging of other funding allowed us to add three more habitat enhancement projects in northeast Minnesota and to lengthen others. One small budget project was dropped when a partner changed the scope from 144 acres to less than 15 and proposed costs outweighed the potential benefit.
The Contractor will assist in planning and executing the regular meetings of the St. Croix River Basin Team, including providing minutes of the meetings. Assist in the functioning of the priority issue subcommittees. Respond to public notices for re-issuances of NPDES permits, EAWs and other pertinent public notices, and participate in prioritized public meetings with local governmental units and water planning organizations.
This project will build upon existing planning and implementation efforts already taken on in the project area. The collection of existing information will be used to complement water information in support of a more successful and sustainable water quality improvement and protection implementation program. This will be achieved by active civic engagement activities throughout Phase I of this project.
Chisago County will coordinate up to three community dialogue meetings to inform its water planning decisions. The goal of the meetings will be to provide safe, productive and effective venues for citizens to become authentically engaged in the water planning process. The outcome of this Civic engagement work with Chisago County and their county water planning process will be a more engaged public in the County Water Planning Process.
This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
This project will support the necessary activities for improving the water quality and biological community by reducing nutrients, sediment levels and managing in-stream habitat within the Goose Creek 10-digit HUC Watershed. This restoration and protection plan will identify pollutant load reduction estimates and management strategies that will be used to obtain the TMDL goals outlined in the plan.
This project will support the development of whole farm conservation plans for ten (10) agricultural producers within the Sunrise River Watershed. The conservation plans will be used by the farmer and the Chisago SWCD to develop an action plan to address the resource concerns identified as part of the AgEQA program. The overall goal of the program is to prioritize conservation practices that will improve the overall water quality of the Sunrise River.
This project will provide Agency staff, local partners and the citizen volunteers with a framework for building local capacity to design civic engagement and communication / outreach efforts. This will contribute to meaningful and sustained public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed. MPCA staff, local partners and citizen volunteers will also be able to integrate the results of the biophysical and community assessment into strategies for improving water bodies on the MN 303d List of Impaired Waters
This project will build network and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection in Southeast Minnesota. The cohort will be administered through the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board (SE MN WRB) which is an area wide Joint Powers Board (JPB) established to help improve and protect the water resources of the area through coordinating local water planning efforts. This JPB has successfully administered water quality grants in the past that have positively impacted the water resources of this region.
This project includes project planning, coordination, stream reconnaissance, and begins the effort towards civic engagement/outreach components of the South Fork Crow River Watershed project. Phase I will focus towards the development of project teams, identifying stakeholders, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan and conducting limited lake and stream monitoring.
This project approach will include monitoring and gathering of watershed information, assess the data, develop implementation strategies to meet standards and protect waters, implement water quality protection and restoration activities in the watershed. The goal of this project is to establish a framework, and to provide information and tools for local government and watershed organizations to engage the public in a manner that will lead to water quality improvement.
This project will complete a pollutant source identification and subwatershed information report and support the development of a Draft Restoration and Protection Plan (RAPP). It will also support the devlopment of a Implementation Plan that will identify target areas for BMP implementation for bacteria reductions.
This project will develop and organize a first- stage civic infrastructure pilot in Kanabec County, within the membership of the PICKM (Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille-Lacs) Alliance, and with other organizations in the St. Croix Basin. The work will be grounded in the need for sustainable citizen engagement in water quality management. Civic leaders participating in this project will build their own skills for organizing people and working in partnership with Kanabec County SWCD staff and the St. Croix Basin Team to achieve water quality goals.
TMDL project in the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District that will develop a watershed based plan and provide strategies for water quality and aquatic ecosystem management, restoration, and protection within Sunrise River Watershed. This project will also aid in understanding the Phosphorus loading to Lake St. Croix.
This project will provide baseline data through water monitoring, recording and analyzing the results of six unassessed rivers/tributaries, three unassessed lakes and five storm water outlets in the city of Mora which drain to the Snake River; promote and implement approved BMP’s.
Implementation activities proposed as a part of this project include water quality monitoring, biotic surveys, sediment core sampling, mechanical treatment of curly-leaf pondweed (in accordance with regulations and permitting), an iron-enhanced sand filter, with a high capacity multi-stage outlet weir and 40,000 pounds of iron filings and stakeholder involvement in the design process and educational presentations.
Dakota Wicohan created the first half of a leadership and civics curriculum for Dakota youth—Dakota Itancan Kagapi, or, the making of Dakota leaders. The program will be used to train Dakota youth through the inter-related strategies of remembering, reclaiming, and reconnecting with our Dakota language and lifeways to enhance the region’s civic foundation.