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.
The Lower Shakopee Creek has proportionally higher pollutant contributions than any other tributary in the Chippewa River Watershed, and lower than average implementation of conservation practices. Establishing relationships with agricultural landowners is critical for overcoming barriers to participation. In order to make measurable pollutant reductions, Chippewa River Watershed Project staff will increase one-to-one landowner contacts, program promotion, and Best Management Practice site identification.
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.
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 AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
This project will complete a comprehensive and sustainable Major Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies report for the Chippewa River, its tributary streams, and the many lakes in the Chippewa River watershed that is understandable and adoptable by local units of government and residents.
The goal of the Chippewa River Watershed Protection project is to protect unimpaired areas of the watershed. This will be accomplished through education and outreach with landowners and through implementation of best management practices.