The Native Prairie Bank Program will work with willing landowners to permanently protect 415 acres of native prairie and supporting habitat in perpetual conservation easements. Easement acquisition will focus on Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan identified landscapes and target Minnesota Biological Survey identified threatened and endangered plant and animal species, high quality plant communities, and key habitats for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and other wildlife species.
The Anoka Sandplain Partnership proposal will restore/enhance 245 acres and 1.20 mi shoreline; and protect 80 acres of wildlife habitat on priority public lands principally within the Anoka Sandplain Ecological Region within the Metropolitan Urbanizing and Forest-Prairie Transition sections.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has ranked this acquisition as Number 6 nationally, and has included $3.5 million in the President's FY 2017 Budget to acquire 2,250 acres of inholdings along Bushmen Lake, bordering the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) on three sides. The Conservation Fund has been asked by the U.S. Forest Service to assist with the acquisition and requests funds from the LSOHC to permanently protect this habitat to secure over 4 miles of legal access to Superior National Forest and provide critical habitat for moose and Canada Lynx.
The Cannon River Watershed Habitat Complex Phase VII program will protect in fee and restore approximately 220 acres of high priority wildlife habitat within and near the Cannon River Watershed, including wetlands, prairies, Big Woods forest, and river/shallow lake shoreline. Its goal is to reverse habitat loss, prevent degradation of water quality, improve watershed function, and provide public access.
Washington County's Carnelian Creek Conservation Corridor contains one of the largest unprotected wildlife habitat complexes within the metropolitan area and has been identified as one of the County's top conservation priorities. The Minnesota Land Trust and Washington County will protect 369 acres of the Corridor's most threatened, high quality forest and aquatic habitat in this first phase of the project.
This project will protect 1 mile of critical shoreland and 330 acres associated high-quality wildlife habitats in Minnesota's Northeast region by securing permanent conservation easements in strategic locations along priority lakes and rivers, creating protected habitat complexes.
The Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation in partnership with the Minnesota Land Trust will protect high priority critical fish habitat and the surrounding watersheds on 38 tullibee "refuge" lakes by securing conservation easements. We will permanently protect approximately 400 acres. If a lake's watershed has less than 25% land disturbance the lake has a high probability to maintain clean water and healthy lake ecosystem. State of Minnesota reports indicate this region could see 64% population growth by 2030.
Project partners Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA), Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and The Conservation Fund (TCF) will work cooperatively with St. Louis County to protect in fee approximately 2,500 acres of forest habitat at risk of being converted to uses that would degrade critical habitat for wildlife in Minnesota's northeast forest landscape. Targeted parcels will be those that are vital to maintaining large, unfragmented blocks of forest that deliver the greatest habitat benefits.
The Minnesota Forests for the Future Program will use $2.291 million for conservation easement acquisition to protect up to 4,000 acres of forest and wetland habitat in the northern forest region. Parcels selected featured some of the largest private forest parcels in the region, high biodiversity sites, topographic and habitat diversity, and connectivity with additional protected forest and wetland complexes.
The Mississippi Headwaters Board will work with the Board of Water & Soil Resources, The Trust for Public Land, headwaters counties, and Soil & Water Conservation Districts to protect and preserve targeted habitat in high quality shoreland areas and provide access on the Mississippi River, headwater's reservoirs, and connecting corridor tributaries through fee title acquisitions. Easements will be administered in target areas to protect habitat and shoreland areas.
This project will advance the prairie protection, restoration and enhancement goals established in the 2011 MN Prairie Conservation Plan. It builds upon the successful model established in Phases 1 - 6 and seeks to protect 200 acres in fee without PILT obligations to be held by The Nature Conservancy, protect an additional 100 acres with PILT for inclusion in the State's Wildlife Management or Scientific Natural Area systems, enhance 7,500 acres of permanently protected grasslands, and restore 100 acres of prairie habitat.
The Nature Conservancy and US Fish and Wildlife Service will cooperate to permanently protect native prairie and associated complexes of wetlands and native habitats in western Minnesota by purchasing approximately 770 acres of fee title properties and/or habitat easements, with a target of 385 acres of native prairie.
The Prairie Chicken Habitat Partnership will permanently protect, restore, and enhance 586 acres of prairie chicken habitat in the Southern Red River Valley of Northwest Minnesota. Land protected will become either WMA or WPA and open to public recreation.
Utilizing the new CREP III partnership to secure permanent conservation easements, this Phase 7 continuation of the RIM Buffers Program will protect and restore riparian buffer areas, totaling 4,106 acres on approximately 244 easements. This Program will continue to utilize a science-based ranking and selection process and be implemented locally, working with SWCD, NRCS, and FSA staff in the 54 county CREP area. It is estimated that $1 of OHF will be leveraged with $1 of Clean Water Funds and at least $4 of Federal funds through CREP.
Utilizing the new CREP III partnership to secure permanent conservation easements, this continuation of the RIM Wetlands Program will protect and restore 4,137 acres of previously drained wetlands and adjacent native grasslands on approximately 46 easements. This Program will continue to utilize a science-based ranking and selection process and be implemented locally, working with local SWCD, NRCS, and FSA staff in the 54 county CREP area. It is estimated that $1 of OHF will be leveraged with at least $2 of Federal funds through CREP.
This Phase 6 request for Ducks Unlimited's land protection and restoration program will acquire and restore 600 acres of prairie land on shallow lakes and prairie land with restorable wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of SW Minnesota for transfer to the Minnesota DNR for inclusion in the state Wildlife Management Area system. This land acquisition and restoration work will focus on land that buffers shallow lakes and provides breeding habitat for ducks and other prairie wildlife.
The Shell Rock River Watershed District's Phase VI Habitat Restoration Program will restore, enhance and protect 359 acres of essential shallow lake, wetland and stream bank habitat across the watershed. Over the next five years, agricultural landscapes will be turned into wetland complexes, shallow lakes burdened with rough fish will be restored to provide breeding and migratory waterfowl habitats, streambanks will be enhanced, and key biological functioning parcels will be permanently protected.
This project will protect approximately 680 acres and restore and enhance approximately 70 acres of declining habitat for species of greatest conservation need in strategically targeted areas of biodiversity significance in the Blufflands resulting in increased public access and habitat.
This project will protect and enhance high priority habitat in fee for the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Forest in southeast Minnesota. This will include enhancing mixed deciduous forest lands through silvicultural practices and control of invasive species. The project will also provide additional opportunities for hunting in an area of the state where public hunting opportunities are limited. All projects will be done in accordance with the state forest land asset plans, RJ Dorer State Forest Plan and the SE MN Driftless Project Map.
This Phase 5 continuation of the Wild Rice Shoreland Protection Program will utilize permanent conservation easements to protect 500 acres, translating to approximately 3 miles of wild rice shoreland habitat. Sites are selected through an integrative ranking process that considers development risk, surrounding land use, habitat value, and numerous other criteria. BWSR will utilize the RIM Easement process in partnership with 12 local SWCDs within the Northern Forest and Forest/Prairie Transition Sections during the appropriation term.
Over the next six years, the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), in partnership with landowners, federal, state, and local agencies, intends to implement a long-term comprehensive plan to restore the Wolverton Creek and its riparian corridor. This comprehensive project will turn 20 channelized stream miles to 26.2 miles of restored natural prairie stream channel. It will also protect, enhance, and restore over 740 acres (357 acres in Phase 1) of floodplain wetland and grassland habitat along the Wolverton Creek.