Wabasha Soil and Water Conservation District, in conjunction with Wabasha Natural Resources Conservation Service field office and Farm Service Agency field office, will complete 75 compliance checks and writing or rewriting Highly Erodable Lands plans throughout Wabasha county. Technical staff, upon completion, will partner with landowners to coordinate potential future funding to increase conservation on the land and increase water quality in streams and groundwater through Best Management Practices placement.
This project will fully fund three Nonpoint Engineering Assistance (NPEA) Joint Powers Board positions in cooperation with the NPEA Base Funding anticipated at $130,000 per year. This will allow a 2nd Professional Engineer to be retained in addition to a Lead Engineer and Technician. This 'accelerated' engineering previously was funded with BWSR Challenge Grants, and an EPA319 grant with corresponding BWSR CWF Matching Grant to handle the high workload associated with the large number of BWSR feedlot cost-share projects approved in South East Minnesota.
This project will extend two Feedlot Technical positions initially created and funded by a FY2011 CWF Feedlot Water Quality Grant that assess and help fix animal waste runoff from small feedlots. The technicians will work with and under the Technical Authority and priorities of the South East Soil and Water Conservation District Tech Support JPB lead Engineer. This project will enable more projects to be constructed resulting in a reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in South East Minnesota and the Mississippi River.
We propose restoration and enhancement of prairie and savanna on WMA’s, SNA’s, and Native Prairie Banks in Minnesota and restoration and enhancement of bluff prairies on State Forest Land in southeast Minnesota.
“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’.The purpose of this program is to call attention to the pillar, but also to centralize and streamline reporting on other related programs within the pillar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to develop County Geologic Atlases to convey geologic and hydrogeologic (groundwater) information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, as well as private organizations and citizens. The MGS focuses on geology (Part A reports) and DNR focuses on groundwater (Part B reports).These studies provide information about the region’s geology and groundwater’s presence, direction of flow, natural quality, age, and pollution sensitivity.
Good habitat is critical to sustaining quality fish populations in both lakes and rivers. DNR proposes to restore or enhance aquatic habitat under two programs: stream restoration, and Aquatic Management Area (AMA) enhancement. Stream restoration includes major channel restorations and fish passage projects such as dam removals intended to improve or provide access to critical aquatic habitats.
This programmatic request will build on the DNR’s previous efforts to enhance and restore grasslands, prairies, and savannas. We will use the Prairie Conservation Plan and Pheasant Summit Action Plan to guide these efforts in a strategic and targeted manner. This proposal will work on a number of types of permanently protected habitats, most of which are open to public hunting, including; DNR WMAs, SNAs, AMAs, Prairie Bank Easements, State Forests, as well as USFWS WPAs and Refuges.
We propose a programmatic approach to achieve prioritized aquatic habitat protection for trout streams across Minnesota, but emphasizing Southeast and Northeast Minnesota. We propose to protect 5 miles of trout streams with permanent conservation easements on private land. Protected lands will be designated as Aquatic Management Areas (AMA’s) administered by the Minnesota DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife.
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 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restore or enhance habitat to facilitate fish passage, restore degraded streams, and enhance habitat critical to fish and other aquatic life. Projects are prioritized based on ecological benefit, urgency, feasibility, and stakeholder support.
This project will provide cost-share funds to landowners in vulnerable groundwater areas for the incorporation of cover crops in their crop rotation and to provide education related to nitrogen BMPs through field trials and Nutrient Management Plans. An anticipated 100 producers in highly vulnerable areas, will plant 3,000 acres of cover crops resulting in preventing potentially 19,800 pounds of nitrate from leaching into groundwater.
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.
The objective of the project is to integrate Division-wide stand-alone datasets into a single information system that eliminates redundancies and inconsistencies and better meets the business requirements of the Division. Once completed, the information system will serve as the authoritative source of MN State Parks and Trails data for updates, maintenance, and reporting, and will be poised to take advantage of emerging technologies.
Currently, there are approximately 5,050 feedlots with fewer than 300 animal units that need to come into compliance with State feedlot rules. Clean Water Feedlot Water Quality Management Grant funds are being used to provide financial assistance to landowners with feedlot operations less than 300 animal units in size and located in a riparian area or impaired watershed.
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.
Reed canary grass is preventing natural regeneration of trees and threatening floodplain forests and wildlife along the Mississippi. This effort builds on previous LSOHC funding to control reed canary grass and plant trees as part of a long-term effort.
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.
Per Minnesota Laws, 2011, 1st Special Session, Chapter 6, Article 4, Section 2, Subd. 6, "These amounts are appropriated to the commissioner of administration for grants to the named organizations for the purposes specified in this subdivision.
This project will develop a statewide parks and trails map in print and in a web-based form. The print map will be generalized and the web-based map will be more descriptive. The aim of this project is to create public awareness of recreational opportunities and, as a result, increased visitation to these areas.
This on-going program is for detecting, mapping and controlling invasive plant species and re-establishing native vegetation in their place on lands administered by the Division of Parks and Trails. Control of invasive plant species furthers progress to preserve and restore the quality of native plant communities on Parks and Trails lands as well as helps prevent the spread of invasives to new locations.
The Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a tool that can identify water pollution problems based on how the type and abundance of certain species in a biological community vary from expected conditions. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency currently uses IBIs for fish and macroinvertebrates (stream-dwelling insects and other critters) to help determine whether streams and rivers are impacted by water pollution.
The consultant LimnoTech will support response to Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) comments the peer review process, United States Environmental Protection Agency and public notice. They will then revise the TMDL document as needed and attend internal and external project meetings.
The goal of this project is to finalize the draft Lake Pepin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report, issue it for public comment, address comments, and finalize the report. Lake Pepin is impaired by high levels of nutrients that cause excessive growth of algae. High levels of sediment, carried in by major river systems, also affect the lake. The sediment is filling in the lake at a much faster rate than before Minnesota was settled and intensely farmed. Nutrients and sediment are distinct yet inter-related pollutants, and are being addressed in separate TMDL reports.
The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead on implementing conservation practices that protect water quality. Those who implement and maintain approved conservation practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. This program will help address concerns about changing regulatory requirements from multiple state and federal agencies.