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.
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.
We protected 22.3 miles of trout streams and 1.3 miles of lakeshore via easements (585 acres in total), and 7.4 miles (504 acres) of lakeshore through fee-title purchase. We enhanced shoreline habitat on 524 acres of riparian land, and instream habitat on 3.1 miles of trout streams and 0.5 miles of warmwater rivers.
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.
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.
This program accelerated the permanent protection of 2,267 acres of wetlands (465 acres) and grasslands (1,802 acres) as Waterfowl Production Areas open to public hunting in Minnesota. Over the course of the appropriation, PF acquired 18 parcels for a total of 2,267 acres which exceeded our total acre goal of 2,250 acres by 17 acres. Breaking down acres by ecological section we exceeded our acre goal for both the metropolitan area by 61 acres and in the prairie area by 346 acres. We have exceeded anticipated match of $5,125,000 by $771,500.
To enhance arts and cultural heritage programming at the East Otter Tail County Fair by hosting a fiddle contest, a barbershop quartet, and by purchasing a sound system to help performers engage a larger audience.
The Circle of Life is a two-year project involving all facets of the community in lifelong learning through music, theater, movement, and puppetry, working with Ghaian dancer/drummer Francis Kofi, and artists Esther Ouray and Julie Kastigar.
A Center for the Arts continues their tour across Minnesota with one program from last year―Ann Reed's Heroes, and two new tour programs―Songs from the Tall Grass, which we produced in 2007 and Chamber Music.
This project will develop a watershed approach plan, including impaired waters allocations, for the Mustinka Watershed, located at the headwaters of the Red River of the North, in western Minnesota, lying partly in Grant, Stevens, Ottertail, Big Stone, and Traverse counties. The watershed approach plan will set water quality goals for the watershed, recommend allocations for achieving total maximum daily loads where waters do not meet state standards and are listed as impaired.
Multiple water courses in the Buffalo River - Red River Watershed District are impaired for turbidity. These waterways include the Red River of the North, Wolverton Creek, Deerhorn Creek, Stoney Creek, South Branch Buffalo River, and the main stem of the Buffalo River. This project will provide a means of prioritizing areas of the watershed to implement conservation practices to reduce overland runoff contaminant loadings contributing to water quality impairments.
This project will continue to develop, and calibrate/validate the hydrology of an Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Buffalo River watershed. The consultant will add representation of point source discharges to the model. The consultant will compile flow data for the purposes of calibration and validation. An initial hydrologic calibration will be performed and submitted for approval.
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 Fergus Falls Heritage Preservation commission, in cooperation with the Otter Tail County Historical Society, produced a brochure with the help of a qualified historian. The brochure consists of photographs, descriptions and maps to locate historically significant buildings and homes in the city. It was designed for use as a self-guided tour of the city's historical and architectural landmarks. The 40-page brochure is available through the Otter Tail County Historical Society, the Fergus Falls Heritage Preservation Commission and the Fergus Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.