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.
In the third year of this project, MNHS staff continued to inventory and rehouse archaeological collections from Historic Fort Snelling. As part of MNHS involvement with the University of Minnesota's Heritage Collaborative, student interns spent the 2015 fall semester assisting project staff with inventory and research. Artifact data was shared with University faculty for use in their courses. To date, over 98,000 catalog records have been created, describing more than 180,000 artifacts recovered during archaeological excavations at Historic Fort Snelling.
The consultant LimnoTech will support response to Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) comments the peer review process, United States Environmental Protection Agency and public notice. They will then revise the TMDL document as needed and attend internal and external project meetings.
The MPCA has selected the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) watershed model to simulate watershed hydrology and water quality to assess various restoration scenarios in the Little Cannon River watershed. The SWAT model is an important tool in developing an understanding of existing conditions and simulating conditions under various management scenarios to inform the development of implementation strategies and plans to restore and protect streams and lakes.
The Minnesota Land Trust provides coordination, mapping, and data management for the Metropolitan Conservation Corridors partnership. Funds are being used to coordinate the partnership, guide strategic outreach and implementation efforts, manage project data, and provide reporting and mapping of accomplishments.
Through this appropriation Dakota County plans to permanently protect approximately 287 acres along rivers, including the Vermillion and Cannon Rivers, by securing conservation easements from willing landowners. For all acres protected, natural resource management plans will be prepared to ensure their long term stewardship. Additionally, restoration and enhancement activities are expected to occur on approximately 75 acres.
With this appropriation, the Minnesota Land Trust plans to protect 150 acres of high quality forest, prairie, or wetland habitat by securing permanent conservation easements and dedicating funds for their perpetual monitoring, management, and enforcement. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding are located in Anoka, Carver, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Washington, and Wright counties.
This project will establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11 county metropolitan area. The network will provide information about aquifer characteristics and natural water trends by monitoring healthy aquifers (non-stressed systems). The project will also develop an automated system that captures groundwater level and water use data. This system will enhance evaluation of changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells.
This project will identify areas for potential Best Management Practice (BMP) placement and identify strategies to strengthen social capacity and effectively engage citizens in development of the upcoming Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report.
This purpose of this project is to evaluate the conditions of eight streams in the Cedar River Watershed and one site on the Wapsipinicon River. Monitoring will take place for two years. Mower Soil and Water Conservation District staff will collect samples following Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Intensive Watershed Monitoring (IWM) sample collection protocols and will organize and review all field and laboratory data, along with field notes and photos.
The Root River Field to Stream Partnership is a collaborative effort led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in partnership with Fillmore, Mower, and the Root River Soil and Water Conservation Districts, local farmers, crop advisers, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, and the Nature Conservancy. Together, project partners are addressing the following key questions:
The purpose of this effort is to create an educational video that will “bring to life” geo-scientific information related to groundwater movement in southeast Minnesota. This video will be used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and other regional partners to help explain the local geology and related groundwater movement. It is anticipated that the video will be used at meetings and other events related to water resource management and natural resource issues. In addition, three stand alone high resolution graphics will be created.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has designed a Township Testing Program to determine current nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in private wells on a township scale. The MDA has identified townships throughout the state that are vulnerable to groundwater contamination (because of local geology or shallow groundwater) and have significant row crop production. These are the counties that will be prioritized for Township Testing.
Phase 2 of the Wild Rice River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project includes: continued civic engagement; production of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study, which allocates pollutant load reductions for impaired waters; and production of the WRAPS report, which identifies implementation strategies that will maintain or improve water quality in many lakes and streams throughout the watershed.
The goal of this project is to test the sensitivity of the Zumbro River Watershed Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) model management scenario results. Additional goals are to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired stream reaches and Rice Lake, which will be documented in a TMDL Report. The consultant will apply the existing calibrated and validated Zumbro River Watershed HSPF model to construct load duration curves to develop TMDLs.