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.
Acquire 910 acres of high priority habitats for designation as Wildlife Management Areas or Scientific & Natural Areas emphasizing Prairie Conservation Plan implementation and coordinating with partners. All lands will be open for public hunting, fishing and trapping.
Overall Project Outcome and Results
The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) 2009 work program focused on 6 habitat restoration projects totaling 3,664 acres (3,118-ENRTF funds; 546-other funds). Additional details, beyond the short summary below, are found in the more detailed reporting provided for each project.
Overall Project Outcome and Results
This project focused on the acquisition of habitat linkages that provided environmental protection of the shoreline and riparian zone, exhibited a high risk of development, supplied angler access, and afforded management access necessary for implementing habitat improvement projects.
Project goals were to protect 120 acres (1.4 miles of lake and stream shoreline) with the help of partner and other state funding. Partner funding includes donations of land value and cash.
Overall Project Outcome and Results
This project focused on paying professional services related to the conveyance of habitat corridor lands to the DNR by HCP partners. Parcels acquired from HCP partners will be placed in public ownership and administered as State Wildlife Management Areas.
Project goals were to pay professional services as parcels are conveyed to DNR by nonprofit HCP partners. During this appropriation only Pheasants Forever (PF) projects were conveyed to DNR.
Overall Project Outcome and Results
The objective of this project was to accelerate Ducks Unlimited (DU) efforts to help improve and protect shallow lakes managed for waterfowl. To protect shallow lakes, DU worked with private shallow lake shoreline landowners to secure permanent conservation easements on managed shallow lakes prioritized by DU for their importance to waterfowl and threat of development. The goal was to permanently protect at least 200 shallow lake shoreland acres.
An estimated 400 acres acquired by other Habitat Corridors Partnership (HCP) partners is expected to be transferred to the DNR for long-term management during this phase of the partnership. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is using these funds to cover professional services costs associated with these property transfers.
This appropriation is enabling Ducks Unlimited to help state and federal wildlife conservation agencies protect and restore shallow lakes for waterfowl. Conservation easements will be acquired on approximately 150 acres of privately owned shoreland and up to 60 acres of lands previously converted for cropping will be restored back to wildlife habitat. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding are located in Beltrami, Douglas, Freeborn, Grant, Meeker, Pope, Stearns, Swift, and Wright counties.
The Trust for Public Land is using this appropriation to acquire in fee title approximately 44 acres of high quality habitat and convey it the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for long-term stewardship and protection. Priority will be given to shoreland and other lands that provide natural buffers to water resources. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding are located in Hubbard, Kandiyohi, LeSueur, and Rice counties.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Ducks Unlimited are working together to provide technical assistance to landowners that that will result in the protection of approximately 2,500 acres of prairies and wetlands in southern and western Minnesota. As a result of this appropriation, an estimated $4 million of additional funding for conservation is anticipated to be provided in match by the federal Wetland Reserve Program.
RIM Buffers Phase 1 combined the resource benefits of the Outdoor Heritage Fund (LSOHC), Clean Water Fund (CWF), and bond funds. This program exceeded our acreage goal by 439 acres (37%), enrolling a total of 1,595.4 acres of enhanced wildlife and water quality buffers in partnership with private landowners on 46 easements.
The goals for this project were to: protect 1,200 acres native prairie/wetland/savanna; restore 250 acres prairie/wetland; enhance 6,000 acres grassland/savanna with fire, invasive species removal, and grazing; and continue a new prairie conservation model. This phase resulted in a total of 1,425 acres protected, 22,298 acres enhanced, and 110 acres restored. When combined with phases 1 and 2 of the Prairie Recovery Program we have cumulatively protected 4,070 acres, enhanced 58,134 acres and restored 314 acres using OHF funds.
RIM Buffers Phase II combined the resource benefits of the Outdoor Heritage Fund (LSOHC), Clean Water Fund (CWF), and bond funds. This program enrolled a total of 1,336.7 acres of enhanced wildlife and water quality buffers in partnership with private landowners on 29 easements. With 1337 acres (all sources of funding) protected and restored in this phase, we exceeded the original goal of 400 acres of OHF funded buffers and 400 acres of CWF funded buffers. Bonding dollars were used to fund the remaining 537 acres.
Goals for Phase 2 of the MN Prairie Recovery Program were to: protect 1200 acres native prairie/savanna; restore 250 acres grassland; enhance 6000 acres grassland/savanna with fire, invasive species removal, and grazing; and continue a new prairie conservation model.
This program initiated strategies toward a 15-year goal to provide protection to the remaining 90,000 acres of native prairie/savanna, a 20-year goal to restore and protect an additional 500,000 acres of diverse grasslands/savannas, and a 10-year goal to increase management capacity to annually manage 300,000 acres of grassland and savannas per year. This proposal took the first steps to achieve these goals by initiating a comprehensive, coordinated and collaborative prairie conservation initiative. Annual investments by the LSOHC will be required to realize these ultimate outcomes.
This project will advance the prairie protection, restoration and enhancement goals established in the 2011 MN Prairie Conservation Plan. It builds upon the successful model established in Phases 1 - 6 and seeks to protect 200 acres in fee without PILT obligations to be held by The Nature Conservancy, protect an additional 100 acres with PILT for inclusion in the State's Wildlife Management or Scientific Natural Area systems, enhance 7,500 acres of permanently protected grasslands, and restore 100 acres of prairie habitat.
This appropriation allowed the permanent protection of 887 acres in western Minnesota. These properties included 664 acres of remnant native prairie, 76 acres of associated wetlands complexes, and 8,500' of streamfront. For this phase we originally planned to protect 740 acres with a minimum of 375 native prairie. Both targets were exceeded - 120% of total acres and 177% of native prairie acres.
This project will advance the prairie protection, restoration and enhancement goals established in the 2011 MN Prairie Conservation Plan. It builds upon the successful model established in Phases 1 - 7 and seeks to protect 350 acres in fee without PILT obligations to be held by The Nature Conservancy, enhance 12,500 acres of permanently protected grasslands, and restore 100 acres of prairie and wetland habitat .
Phase Four of the MN Prairie Recovery Program resulted in a total of 1,707 acres protected, 37,567 acres enhanced, and 440 acres restored. When combined with Phases 1-3 of the Prairie Recovery Program we have cumulatively protected 5,777 acres, enhanced 95,701 acres and restored 754 acres using Outdoor Heritage Fund dollars. We will continue to implement subsequent Phases toward meeting the conservation goals described in the MN Prairie Conservation Plan.
This proposal contributes to the goals of the MN Prairie Conservation Plan by protecting 900 acres of native prairie/wetland/savanna; restoring 150 acres prairie/wetland; and enhancing 5,000 acres grassland/savanna. Fee-title acquisitions and enhancement projects will be targeted to prairie core and cooridor geographies as identified in the Plan.
The RIM-WRP Partnership permanently protected 7,276 acres of priority wetlands and associated upland native grassland wildlife habitat via perpetual conservation easements on 63 sites and leveraged over $13 million of federal Wetlands Reserve Program funds.
The RIM-WRP Partnership permanently protected 4,166 acres of priority wetlands and associated upland native grassland wildlife habitat via perpetual conservation easements on 46 sites and leveraged over $9.8 million of federal Wetlands Reserve Program funds.
The RIM-WRP Partnership permanently protected 5,559 acres of priority wetlands and associated upland native grassland wildlife habitat via perpetual conservation easements on 60 sites and leveraged over $11 million of federal Wetlands Reserve Program funds.
PROJECT OVERVIEW The Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Wetlands Reserve Program restores wetlands and grasslands through the purchase of permanent conservation easements on privately owned land. The easements limit future land use and put conservation plans in place for future management. The Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources is using this appropriation to accelerate the RIM Wetlands Reserve Program resulting in additional permanently protected wetlands and grasslands throughout the state.
Privately owned lands exist within the designated boundaries of state parks throughout Minnesota. Purchase of these lands from willing landowners for addition into the state park system makes them permanently available for public recreation and enjoyment and facilitates more efficient management. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is using this appropriation to acquire 87 acres in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, located northeast of Brainerd, and 17 acres in Whitewater State Park, located between Rochester and Winona.
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.
Eight RIM Wetlands applications were selected for funding on 1146.2 acres from this appropriation. In addition 19 RIM-WRP easements, totaling 2,239 acres were funded. Thus a total of 3,385 acres were protected and restored to wetland and grassland habitat. All easements have been recorded. Leverage from other sources of funds was a little over $4.5M.