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.
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.
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.
Minnesota has 15.9 million acres of forest land managed by a variety of county, state and federal agencies, and private landowners for timber production, wildlife habitat, and ecological considerations. Forest managers rely on inventory data to make effective planning and management decisions. Because forests are continually changing through natural and human processes, forest inventory data is periodically updated. However, doing so is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor and, as a result, much of Minnesota’s forest inventory data is currently out of date.
The goal of this project is to analyze and document database architecture, platform, table structures, systems and data fields at six Minnesota agencies (Board of Soil and Water Resources, Department of Natural Resources, MN Department of Agriculture, MN Department of Health, Metropolitan Council, and MN Pollution Control Agency) for 30+ databases related to water.
Prior to European settlement more than 18 million acres of prairie covered Minnesota. Today less than 1% of that native prairie remains, and about half of those remaining acres are in private landownership without any formal protection currently in place. Through this appropriation the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will work with private landowners of high quality native prairie sites to protect remaining native prairie using a variety of tools. Approximately 200 acres are expected to be permanently protected through Native Prairie Bank conservation easements.
Minnesota’s 12 regional public library systems, which encompass 350 public libraries in all areas of the state, benefit from a portion of the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Through State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, each regional public library system receives a formula-driven allocation from the annual $3 million Minnesota Regional Library Legacy Grant.
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.
International Water Institute (IWI) staff will monitor 24 sites in the Bois de Sioux, Mustinka (2 sites), Buffalo (8 sites), Red Lake (4 sites), Sandhill (3 sites), Thief (2 sites), and Tamarac River (3 sites) Watersheds intensively over a 2 year period in an attempt to collect 25 samples per year at each site. If conditions allow for the collection of all planned samples, 1200 stream samples will be collected over the time period. Monitoring will include field measurements, observations, and at least three photographs during each site visit.
The goal of this project is to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.