Minnesota's Legacy

All Projects

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Recipient
U of MN - MAISRC
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$8,700,000
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$4,350,000

Aquatic invasive species pose critical ecological and economic challenges for the entire state and beyond. They can cause irreparable harm to fisheries and aquatic habitat as well as damage to infrastructure. The problems posed by aquatic invasive species continue to grow as existing infestations expand and new exotic species arrive, most of which are poorly understood. New ideas and approaches are needed to develop real solutions.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000

Through various means, human produced chemicals can make their way into surface waters where they can have adverse effects on the function of ecological communities. Of particular concern are antibiotics and other antimicrobial substances because they have the potential to create increased antibiotic resistance. While there is a background level of naturally occurring antibiotic resistance in the natural world, elevated or persistent levels caused by human activities have the potential to harm human, animal, and overall ecosystem health.

Statewide
Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$260,000

Over a three-month period in 2010, approximately five million barrels of oil was spilled into the Gulf of Mexico causing extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats and resulting in significant losses in fish and wildlife populations. A number of Minnesota's migratory bird species spend parts of their lives in the areas impacted by the spill and impacts on their populations in the state could become evident over time.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$175,000

There is a critical need to understand how our natural resources are already responding to climate change in order to develop tools for projecting natural resource responses into the future and to devise plans for actions that can be taken in reaction to observed and predicted changes. Phenology – the timing of seasonal biological events such as budburst, flowering, bird migration, and leaf coloring – provides a tested indicator of climate change response by plants and animals.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN - Duluth
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$262,000

Silver carp are migrating north up the Mississippi River and pose threats to the native fish and aquatic ecosystems of Minnesota rivers and lakes where they can become established. Additionally, the unique jumping ability of silver carp also places recreational boaters in danger of being injured during collisions with airborne fish. However, it is believed that this jumping ability could potentially be exploited as a weakness to help detect, manage, and control silver carp populations. Researchers at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, in cooperation with the U.S.

Statewide
Recipient
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$447,000

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that has been decimating ash trees throughout the Great Lake states and is currently advancing into Minnesota where it threatens the nearly 1 billion ash trees that occur throughout the state - the second most in any state. Loss of these trees would devastate ecosystems throughout Minnesota and have major economic impacts for the forest products industry as well as through the costs associated with treatment, removal, and replacement of lost trees.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$854,000

Invasive carp species, including silver carp and bighead carp, are migrating north up the Mississippi River and pose threats to the native fish and aquatic ecosystems of Minnesota rivers and lakes where they can become established. While individual carp have been found in Minnesota, it is not presently believed that there are established breeding populations in the state.

Statewide
Recipient
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$99,000

Brown marmorated stink bug is a terrestrial invasive species in Minnesota that was first discovered in 2010 and has been expanding its range since. It is a generalist plant pest that attacks more than 300 species of plants in natural, agricultural, and horticultural settings and is known for its unpleasant odor, large numbers, and propensity for home invasion. Proactive management approaches are available and in development that can be used to slow and potentially control brown marmorated stink bug populations.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$167,000

Brown marmorated stink bug is a terrestrial invasive species in Minnesota that was first discovered in 2010 and has been expanding its range since. It is a generalist plant pest that attacks more than 300 species of plants in natural, agricultural, and horticultural settings and is known for its unpleasant odor, large numbers, and propensity for home invasion. Proactive management approaches are available and in development that can be used to slow and potentially control brown marmorated stink bug populations.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$350,000

Though they are a relatively unnoticed group of species, native freshwater mussels are a critical part of river ecosystems because they provide a variety of important functions including improved water clarity, enhanced streambed stability, reduced downstream transport of contaminants, and creation of habitat for other aquatic life. However, mussel populations in Minnesota have declined in recent decades as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, land-use change, over-harvesting, and the introduction of exotic species.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$864,000

Pollinators play a key role in ecosystem function and in agriculture, including thousands of native plants and more than one hundred U.S. crops that either need or benefit from pollinators. However, pollinators are in dramatic decline in Minnesota and throughout the country. The causes of the decline are not completely understood, but identified factors include loss of nesting sites, fewer flowers, increased disease, and increased pesticide use. Fortunately, there are known actions that can be taken to help counteract some of these factors.

Statewide
Recipient
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$743,000

Most mercury in Minnesota waters is deposited from the atmosphere as a byproduct of burning coal and other compounds. Once in the environment, mercury can convert to a form called methylmercury where it bioaccumulates up the food chain from microscopic plants and animals to fish and then to humans and wildlife that consume the fish. The first step in solving the problem of mercury in fish is reducing the sources of mercury entering waters.

Statewide
Recipient
University of St. Thomas
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$136,000

Endocrine-disrupting contaminants such as environmental estrogens have been found and studied in large lakes and streams and shown to exist at concentrations that have adverse effects on wildlife. However, very little is known about the sources and effects of environmental estrogens in small, shallow lakes. Preliminary data suggests that these compounds are present in shallow lakes and have an effect on the survival and reproduction of wildlife. Researchers at the University of St.

Statewide
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000

Moose, one of Minnesota's prized wildlife species, are dying at much higher rates in Minnesota than elsewhere in North America. Recently observed increases in mortality rates amongst some moose in northeastern Minnesota have led to concern that the population there may be entering a decline like that seen in the northwestern part of the state, where moose populations fell from over 4,000 to fewer than 100 in less than 20 years. Additionally the specific causes of increased mortality amongst individual moose remain under investigation.

Cook
Lake
St. Louis
Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$245,000

With only 1% of Minnesota’s native prairie remaining, many prairie plant and animal species have dramatically declined. Of the 12 butterfly species native to Minnesota prairies, two species, the Poweshiek skipperling and the Dakota skipper, have already largely disappeared from the state and are proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act despite being historically among the most common prairie butterflies and having their historic ranges concentrated in Minnesota.

Becker
Big Stone
Chippewa
Clay
Cottonwood
Dodge
Douglas
Grant
Jackson
Kandiyohi
Kittson
Lac qui Parle
Lincoln
Lyon
Marshall
McLeod
Murray
Nobles
Norman
Pipestone
Polk
Rock
Roseau
Sibley
Stearns
Swift
Traverse
Yellow Medicine
Recipient
Minnesota Zoological Garden
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$380,000

With only 1% of Minnesota’s native prairie remaining, many prairie plant and animal species have dramatically declined. Of the 12 butterfly species native to Minnesota prairies, two species, the Poweshiek skipperling and the Dakota skipper, have already largely disappeared from the state and are proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act despite being historically among the most common prairie butterflies and having their historic ranges concentrated in Minnesota.

Becker
Big Stone
Chippewa
Clay
Cottonwood
Dodge
Douglas
Grant
Jackson
Kandiyohi
Kittson
Lac qui Parle
Lincoln
Lyon
Marshall
McLeod
Murray
Nobles
Norman
Pipestone
Polk
Rock
Roseau
Sibley
Stearns
Swift
Traverse
Yellow Medicine
Recipient
Fox Lake Conservation League Inc
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$435,000

After years of discussions, some of the most diverse riparian, mesic, and dry hillside native prairie containing the only identified remnant population of Prairie Bush Clover in Martin County is available for permanent protection. Martin County is using this appropriation to acquire and permanently protect approximately 40 acres, including 10 acres of remnant prairie. The land will be turned into a county park providing recreational opportunities for local residents and educational opportunities for area students.

Martin
Recipient
Metropolitan Council
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,500,000

The Twin Cities area is host to a nationally renowned system of regional parks and trails that provides numerous outdoor recreational opportunities for the public while preserving green space for wildlife habitat and other natural resource benefits. Currently the regional parks and trails system consists of 51 parks and park reserves containing more than 54,000 acres, more than 300 miles of interconnected trails, and has more than 46 million visits each year.

Hennepin
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,460,000

Terrestrial invasive species are species that are not native to a location and that pose critical ecological and economic challenges once they become established in that location. They come in the form of plants, animals, insects, pathogens, and microbes that can cause harm to natural habitat, urban landscapes, and agricultural systems. The problems posed by terrestrial invasive species continue to grow as existing infestations expand and new exotic species arrive, many of which are poorly understood.

Statewide
Recipient
Pheasants Forever Inc
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$100,000

Pollinators play a key role in ecosystem function and in agriculture, including thousands of native plants and more than one hundred U.S. crops that either need or benefit from pollinators. However, pollinators are in dramatic decline in Minnesota and throughout the country. The causes of the decline are not completely understood, but identified factors include loss of nesting sites, fewer flowers, increased disease, and increased pesticide use.

Statewide
Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$600,000

Moose, one of Minnesota's prized wildlife species, are dying at much higher rates in Minnesota than elsewhere in North America. Recently observed increases in mortality rates amongst some moose in northeastern Minnesota have led to concern that the population there may be entering a decline like that seen in the northwestern part of the state, where moose populations fell from over 4,000 to fewer than 100 in less than 20 years. Additionally the specific causes of increased mortality amongst individual moose remain under investigation.

Cook
Lake
St. Louis
Statewide
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$175,000

Native to the western United States and Canada, mountain pine beetle is considered the most devastating forest insect in North America. Trees usually die as a result of infestation and an unprecedented outbreak in the west is currently decimating pine forests there. While mountain pine beetle is not presently believed to reside in Minnesota, there are risks posed by an expanding species range resulting from warming climate and the potential for accidental introduction via lumber imports from infested areas.

Aitkin
Anoka
Becker
Beltrami
Benton
Carlton
Cass
Chisago
Clearwater
Cook
Crow Wing
Fillmore
Houston
Hubbard
Isanti
Itasca
Kanabec
Kittson
Koochiching
Lake
Lake of the Woods
Mahnomen
Marshall
Mille Lacs
Morrison
Mower
Olmsted
Otter Tail
Pine
Polk
Ramsey
Roseau
Sherburne
St. Louis
Stearns
Todd
Wabasha
Wadena
Washington
Winona
Recipient
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$75,000

Native to the western United States and Canada, mountain pine beetle is considered the most devastating forest insect in North America. Trees usually die as a result of infestation and an unprecedented outbreak in the west is currently decimating pine forests there. While mountain pine beetle is not presently believed to reside in Minnesota, there are risks posed by an expanding species range resulting from warming climate and the potential for accidental introduction via lumber imports from infested areas.

Aitkin
Anoka
Becker
Beltrami
Benton
Carlton
Cass
Chisago
Clearwater
Cook
Crow Wing
Fillmore
Houston
Hubbard
Isanti
Itasca
Kanabec
Kittson
Koochiching
Lake
Lake of the Woods
Mahnomen
Marshall
Mille Lacs
Morrison
Mower
Olmsted
Otter Tail
Pine
Polk
Ramsey
Roseau
Sherburne
St. Louis
Stearns
Todd
Wabasha
Wadena
Washington
Winona
Recipient
Board of Water and Soil Resources
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$335,000

Northern white cedar wetland plant communities provide unique ecological, economic, and wetland functions, including high value timber, long-term carbon storage, winter refuge for deer and other wildlife, wildlife habitat, and thermal buffering for brook trout streams. However, these plant communities have been declining in Minnesota for decades mostly as a result of development impacts. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is using this appropriation to continue efforts aimed at improving the quantity and quality of white cedar wetland plant communities in Minnesota.

Aitkin
Beltrami
Carlton
Cass
Clearwater
Cook
Crow Wing
Hubbard
Itasca
Kanabec
Koochiching
Lake
Lake of the Woods
Mille Lacs
Pine
St. Louis
Wadena
Recipient
Red River Basin Commission
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$219,000

Aquatic invasive species are a threat to the ecology and the recreational and economic viability of Minnesota’s water resources. When an invasion is confined to a distinct lake or wetland, local government units will implement localized plans to address invasions. However, when a water body crosses jurisdictions, such as with river systems, to be effective a more coordinated, regional approach is necessary that is more attuned with the natural pathways for invasive species.

Becker
Recipient
Red River Basin Commission
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000

Excess nutrients are among the most common impairments of water resources in the Red River Basin, as well as the rest of Minnesota. About 80% of the land use in the Red River Basin is for agricultural cropland and over 90% of phosphorus and nitrogen found in rivers and streams in the area originate from nonpoint sources, such as cropland. Excess nutrients are also one of the most difficult impairments to correct.

Becker
Recipient
U of MN - Landscape Arboretum
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$615,000

Pollinators play a key role in ecosystem function and in agriculture, including thousands of native plants and more than one hundred U.S. crops that either need or benefit from pollinators. However, pollinators are in dramatic decline in Minnesota and throughout the country. The causes of the decline are not completely understood, but identified factors include loss of nesting sites, fewer flowers, increased disease, and increased pesticide use. Developing an aware, informed citizenry that understands this issue is one key to finding and implementing solutions to counteract these factors.

Anoka
Blue Earth
Brown
Carver
Dakota
Freeborn
Goodhue
Hennepin
Le Sueur
McLeod
Nicollet
Ramsey
Rice
Scott
Sherburne
Sibley
Stearns
Waseca
Wright
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$600,000

Healthy prairies contribute numerous benefits, such as providing habitat for wildlife and pollinators, maintaining and improving water quality, stabilizing roadsides, and providing a sustainable source of materials for bioenergy production and other products. Since European settlement the once vast expanses of Minnesota prairie covering 18 million acres have been reduced to small remnants totaling about 235,000 acres. With this decline has also come a drastic reduction in the genetic diversity of the various species typical of Minnesota prairies.

Statewide
Recipient
Friends of the Mississippi River
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$200,000

Though many parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area are urbanized, there are also has large areas of natural lands that continue to serve as important habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant communities. However, pressure on these remaining lands continues to intensify as population and development pressures increase.

Dakota
Hennepin
Ramsey
Washington
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000

Sandhill cranes have expanded their range in Minnesota and elsewhere and as populations have expanded several states, including Minnesota, have initiated sandhill crane hunting seasons and other states are considering doing the same. Partially this is in response to increasing complaints of crop degradation by sandhill cranes.

Becker
Beltrami
Cass
Clearwater
Crow Wing
Hubbard
Morrison
Todd
Wadena
Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,540,000

Minnesota’s Scientific and Natural Areas (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 landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities, rare and endangered species, and other unique biotic or geological features. These sites play an important role in scientific study, public education, and outdoor recreation.

Statewide
Recipient
Washington County
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,250,000

The St. Croix River is one of the most pristine, large river ecosystems remaining in the upper Mississippi River System. Washington County, in partnership with the City of Stillwater, is using this appropriation to acquire 15 acres containing 3,500 feet of St. Croix River shoreline just north of downtown Stillwater and parallel to the Brown’s Creek State Trail. The land will be turned into a local nature park for trail users, river users, tourists, and area residents with passive recreation including fishing, boat launching, walking, and picnicking.

Washington
Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$326,000

A class of insecticides known as systemic neonicotinyl insecticides has been identified as a potential factor in recently observed declines in pollinators, including the phenomenon amongst honeybees known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Previous research examining the effects of neonicotinyl insecticides on lab colonies of bumblebees found that exposure to these insecticides at various levels increased queen bee mortality and detrimentally altered bee behavior and production.

Statewide
Recipient
Great River Greening
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000

Though many parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area are urbanized, there are also has large areas of natural lands that continue to serve as important habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant communities. However, pressure on these remaining lands continues to intensify as population and development pressures increase.

Anoka
Carver
Chisago
Dakota
Goodhue
Isanti
Ramsey
Sherburne
Washington
Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$370,000

Wild bees are important for their pollination services and for their contribution to species diversity; for example, many prairie-grassland plant species require pollinators for seed production. However, while the importance of plant-pollinator interactions is well recognized, there are large gaps in our knowledge of Minnesota’s wild bees. The only statewide list of bee species was published in 1919 and it reported only 88 species, whereas it is currently estimated that there are approximately 350-400 native bee species in the state.

Statewide
Recipient
Minnesota Zoo
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$18,708
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$101,375

The Minnesota Zoo’s site – 485 acres of land in Dakota county – is a state treasure that includes a diverse array of habitants including vernal pools, sedge meadows, oak woodlands, and northern rich fens. More than half of this is undeveloped wildlife habitat which, thanks to Legacy funding, is now being explored by zoo staff and guests in order to educate citizens about the wild animals and wild places native to our state and the importance of caring for and conserving these resources.