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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Pheasants Forever (PF) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will cooperate to permanently restore and protect approximately 1397.31 acres as Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) in western and southern Minnesota. All lands acquired through this grant proposal will be owned and managed by the Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
This program protected 810 acres of new wildlife habitat in the Prairie, Deciduous Transition, and Southeast Bluffland ecological sections of Minnesota through fee title acquisition. Title of lands acquired are held by the State and are designated as WMAs.
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.
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 Accelerated Water Quality Project Implementation Program will increase the connection between landowners, local government units and the landscape to accelerate efforts addressing non-point source loading to surface waters throughout the Red River Valley Conservation Service Area.
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 proposal was to accelerate the protection of 1,220 acres of prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitat as State Wildlife Management Areas open to public hunting. Over the course of the appropriation, we acquired 11 parcels for a total of 1,484.05 acres which exceeded our total acre goal of 1,220 acres by 264.05 acres. Breaking down acres by ecological section we acquired 876 acres in the metro, 152 acres in the forest/prairie, and 456 acres in the prairie. We have a balance of $52,798 that will be returned to the Fund despite exceeding our acre goals.
The program was to accelerate the protection of 1,230 acres of prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitat as Waterfowl Production Areas open to public hunting in Minnesota. Over the course of the appropriation, we acquired 14 parcels for a total of 1,240.79 acres which exceeded our total acre goal of 1,230 acres by 10.79 acres. Breaking down acres by ecological section we acquired 160 acres in the forest/prairie and 1,080.79 acres in the prairie. We have a balance that will be returned to the Fund despite exceeding our acre goals.