This appropriation funded 283 projects totaling 21,953 acres. The two largest types of enhancement were 112 woody removal projects totaling 10,160 acres and 134 prescribed burns totaling 10,082 acres. Additionally, we seeded 30 sites totaling 1386 acres, put in infrastructure for conservation grazing of 236 acres on 3 sites, conducted 3 oak savanna enhancements totaling 42 acres, and treated 47 acres of invasive species on 2 sites.
Water control structures and dikes were designed and constructed on six Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in the counties of Becker, Clearwater, Itasca, Lincoln, Roseau, and Yellow Medicine. Dike work at Roseau River WMA protects and enhances 3200 acres of wetlands wetlands in Pool 2 of the WMA. Roseau River WMA has 10 large water control structures, seven moist soil cells, and four large pools covering 11,800 acres. Cells for a moist soil unit were constructed at Lac Qui Parle WMA in Lac Qui Parle County.
The proposal was to accelerate the protection of 1,275 acres of prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitat as State Wildlife Management Areas open to public hunting. However, over the course of the appropriation, we acquired 10 parcels for a total of 1,498 acres which exceeded our total acre goal of 1,275 acres by 223 acres. Breaking down acres by ecological section we exceed our acre goal for the metropolitan area by 97 acres.
“Acquiring Land and Creating Opportunities - A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘create new and expanded park and trail opportunities to satisfy current customers as well as to reach out to new ones’.
Strategic planning efforts guide the expenditure of Legacy funds towards desired outcomes which are derived from public and stakeholder input, research, analysis and input from a variety of experts and leadership. Parks and Trails planners conduct these efforts. Staffing levels were adjusted to complete this legacy work.
Contractor assistance with site selection, reconnaissance and obtaining access for installation of ambient groundwater monitoring wells in Ramsey county and Hennepin county. This project will provide services and oversight of the installation for up to 16 well sites.
Contractor assistance with site selection, reconnaissance and obtaining access for installation of ambient groundwater monitoring wells in northcentral and northeastern Minnesota. This project will provide services and oversight of the installation for up to 31 well sites.
The DNR is working with local communities and an interagency team to define, prioritize, and establish groundwater management areas in Minnesota. Groundwater management areas will have increased data collection and monitoring that allow the state and local communities to understand water supplies, uses, limitations, and threats to natural resources that depend on groundwater. This information will support detailed aquifer protection plans that ensure equitable and sustainable groundwater and drinking water use for the future.
This project will promulgate a nitrate water quality standard to address aquatic life toxicity, and gather information needed to support the development of total nitrogen (N) loading reduction strategies for Minnesota’s waters and also address Minnesota’s contribution to marine water hypoxia. Project will also develop a framework for a watershed nitrogen planning aid that can be used to optimize selection of Best Management Practice (BMP) systems for reducing nitrogen.
Governor Mark Dayton's landmark buffer initiative was signed into law in 2015. The law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along rivers, streams, and ditches that will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The new law provides flexibility and financial support for landowners to install and maintain buffers.
The DNR's role in Minnesota's new buffer law is to produce a statewide map of public waters and public ditches that require permanent vegetation buffers. The DNR is scheduled to produce these maps by July 2016.
“Connecting People to the Outdoors- A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘better develop Minnesota’s stewards of tomorrow through efforts to increase life-long participation in parks and trails.’
The Division of Parks and Trails (as directed by Chapter 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2, Subd. 3(c)) utilizes Conservation Corps of Minnesota services for restoration, maintenance, and other activities that supplement the ability to reach Legacy Fund goals. Budget associated with this program area capture an accounting of dollars that support CCM Summer Youth, Individual Placements, and special projects for park and trail renewal and development. Other dollars not accounted for in this program area are part of other PAT program areas and included as part of those budgets.
“Coordinating with Partners- A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘enhance coordination across the large and complex network of public, private, and non-profit partners that support Minnesota’s parks and trails to ensure seamless, enjoyable park and trail experiences for Minnesotans.’
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to convey valuable geologic and groundwater information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, private organizations and citizens.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) offers grants to counties for Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) program administration and special projects to improve SSTS compliance rates, and assistance for low-income homeowners with needed SSTS upgrades. The MPCA will determine grant allocations based on applications review; funds will flow to counties through the Board of Water and Soil Resources' Natural Resources Block Grants.
This first year of the project will collect available data relevant to the TMDL development, determine the data sets best suited for the TMDL development. Gain a better understanding of the watershed and impaired lakes, and assessment of all potential sources (internal and external) of the causes of lake impairment. EOR will also review the data produced by the MPCA for the impairment assessment for each of the lakes during year 1 of the project.
This project will construct three watershed framework models built using the Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN. These executable models will simulate hydrology at the 12-digit HUC subbasin scale. An HSPF model will be built for each of the following 8-HUC watersheds: Red Lake River (09020303) and the Clearwater River (09020305).
This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
This project covers activities necessary to complete the major watershed restoration and projection project. The major objectives this project covers include contract administration, watershed coordination, stressor ID activities, identifying priority management zones, engage watershed citizens, and the creation of watershed restoration and protection plans.
This project will finalize HSPF watershed model construction by incorporating internal phosphorus loading in modeled lakes, run a suite of implementation scenarios and generate a GenScn project containing model output. The consultant will produce HSPF watershed models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultant will deliver all modeling files for baseline and implementation scenarios and provide a GenScn project containing model output.
This project will establish a framework and provide tools for local government and watershed projects to engage the public in a manner that will lead to water quality improvement through targeted and prioritized implementation of watershed management practices. The major components of the watershed approach that will be used for this project include; monitoring, gathering of watershed information, assessment of the data, develop of implementation strategies, and implementation of water quality protection and restoration activities.
This project approach will include monitoring and gathering of watershed information, assess the data, develop implementation strategies to meet standards and protect waters, implement water quality protection and restoration activities in the watershed. The goal of this project is to establish a framework, and to provide information and tools for local government and watershed organizations to engage the public in a manner that will lead to water quality improvement.
This project will offer incentives to protect 80 acres of land in filter strips and highly erodible lands adjacent to the rivers; construct 9 sediment and water control basins or terraces; replace 35 open tile intakes and advocate wetland restorations and grassland easement programs; organize a Friendship Tour to bring together Minnesota farmers, county commissioners, farm organizations, local, state and federal agency personnel to experience the watershed, farming practices, discuss future project ideas and strengthen relationships; and upgrade 37 subsurface sewage treatment systems by off
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as stressors have not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
This program provides critical assistance to MN DNR Parks and Trails Division Regional and District offices to assist with renewal and rehabilitation efforts prioritized locally by field staff. Projects include the following types: State Park Building and Facilities Emergency Repair and Maintenance, Paved Trail Maintenance and Asset Preservation, and State Park and State Forest Trail Renewal. This project is a newly reorganized budget area that consolidates these three smaller project areas reported on in previous years.
The Division of Parks and Trails is creating innovative programs to attract new audiences, particularly young families, to Minnesota state parks and trails. Skill-building programs, such as "I Can Camp!," provide a trial opportunity by eliminating the barriers of needing to have pre-existing knowledge or gear for the activity. Special events, such as National Get Outdoors Day, generate enthusiasm and a sense of urgency to visit. Gateway programs introduce visitors to a host of outdoor pursuits, including those offered by other divisions of the Minnesota DNR.
This project will determine the magnitude and frequency of contamination from endocrine active compounds (EAC's) and other contaminants of emerging concern in shallow groundwater in non-agricultural areas of Minnesota. EACs and other contaminants of emerging concern in this study include compounds typically found in waste water, including, pharmaceutical compounds, antibiotics, and hormones. This project supports the third phase, including laboratory analysis of samples for an additional 80 wells to be sampled by MPCA staff.
The goal of this project is to enhance the current version of the Enhanced Expert System for Calibration of HSPF (HSPEXP+) so that it can more easily and quickly be used for hydrology calibration, water quality calibration, generate reports and graphs.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health to determine the level of contamination from mercury and other harmful chemicals in fish from Minnesota's lakes and rivers and to track the success of efforts to reduce mercury pollution. Clean Water Legacy funding is being used to significantly increase (more than double) the number of lakes and rivers that are assessed for mercury contamination on an annual basis. Fish are collected during DNR fishery surveys, processed for laboratory testing, and analyzed for contaminants.
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.