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Minnesota Prairie Plan Working Group June 14, 2011

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Presentation on theme: "Minnesota Prairie Plan Working Group June 14, 2011"— Presentation transcript:

1 Minnesota Prairie Plan Working Group June 14, 2011
Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan 2010 A habitat plan for native prairie, grassland, and wetlands in the Prairie Region of western Minnesota Minnesota Prairie Plan Working Group June 14, 2011

2 New Funding for Prairie Conservation
In 2008, the citizens of Minnesota passed a constitutional amendment increasing the state sales tax by 3/8¢ One third of the increase ($ M per year) is to restore, protect, and enhance prairies, forests, wetlands, and habitat for fish, game and wildlife

3 Minnesota Prairie Plan Working Group
Core group: Marissa Ahlering, TNC Tom Landwehr, TNC (facilitator) Steve Chaplin, TNC Tom Larson, USFWS Carmen Converse, DNR Jim Leach, USFWS Meredith Cornett, TNC Kevin Lines, BWSR Ryan Drum, USFWS Clint Miller, TCF Neal Feeken, TNC Mary Mitchell, USFWS Jason Garms, DNR Darby Nelson, LSOHC Diane Granfors, USFWS Ray Norrgard, DNR Fred Harris, DNR Mark Oja, NRCS Greg Hoch, MPCS Bill Penning, DNR John Jaschke, BWSR Matt Holland, PF

4 Minnesota’s Prairie Region
24.9 million acres Includes the Prairie and Forest-Prairie Transition Planning Sections employed by the Lessard-Sams Outdoors Heritage Council

5 Minnesota Native Prairie
Of 18 million original prairie acres, less than 2% remain, ~ 96,000 acres are legally unprotected Even if we protect every acre of remaining native prairie, we can not maintain viable prairie animal species or many ecosystem functions

6 Functional Prairie Systems
“A native prairie ecosystem that is of sufficient size, habitat condition, and landscape composition to maintain natural ecological processes and viable populations of nearly all of the native animals and plants that would naturally be found there”

7 Size Matters

8 Multifunctional Landscapes
Can grass-based economic uses provide a sufficient return on labor and investment to sustain rural families and communities?

9 Conservation Vision for the Prairie Region
“In strategic locations, large areas of prairie, grassland, and associated habitats will be protected and restored to create functioning prairie systems that provide major opportunities for sustainable grass-based agriculture such as grazing and haying. These functioning landscapes will also contribute clean water, fish and wildlife habitat complexes, high quality recreational opportunities, and thriving rural communities where Minnesota’s citizens will want to live and visit.”

10 Focusing Prairie Conservation
Ag Matrix Corridor Complexes Corridors Core Areas

11 Focusing Prairie Conservation - Core Areas -
36 landscapes, 1.5 million acres, ranging from 5, ,000 acres Captures 73% of native prairie Goal: 40% grassland, 20% wetland, 50% permanent protection

12 Glacial Lakes Prairie Landscape

13 Glacial Lakes Prairie Core Area (Acres)
Core Area Acreage 169,305 Native Prairie (NP) 7,214 Protected NP 2,872 Other Grassland 55,128 Protected Other Grassland 7,720 Grassland in CRP 10,264 Wetland 36,308 Protected Wetland 8,134 Grassland Habitat Shortfall from 40% Goal 5,380 Wetland Habitat Shortfall from 20% Goal 0 NP Protection Shortfall 4,342 Grassland Protection Shortfall 18,927 Wetland Protection Shortfall 8,796

14 Focusing Prairie Conservation - Corridors -
Habitat Suitability Analysis based on 28 species of waterfowl, marsh birds, grassland passerines, shorebirds, and game birds Corridors connecting core areas Habitat suitability analysis (USFWS HAPET) 6 species of waterfowl 4 species of marsh birds 8 species of grassland passerines 8 species of shorebirds 2 species of game birds

15 Focusing Prairie Conservation - Corridors -
Five major corridors along geomorphological features Corridors 6 miles wide 1.6 million acres total 10% of each square mile section be protected in permanent grassland or wetland habitat

16 Focusing Prairie Conservation - Habitat Complexes within Corridors -
9 square miles Every 6 miles 40% grassland, 20% wetland, 50% permanent protection

17 Focusing Prairie Conservation - The Agricultural Matrix -
21.7 million acres total 104 Land type associations Goal: 10% of each LTA in perennial cover protected permanently or under year contract

18 Prioritization within the Agricultural Matrix
Proximity to native prairie Areas of High or Outstanding Biodiversity Significance Bordering public conservation land Containing restorable wetlands Priority basins or basins with portfolio lakes Proximity to high priority shallow lakes Adjacent to high priority warm-water streams Adjacent to other watercourse or water body Within a Grassland Bird Conservation Area or an Important Bird Area Highly erodible soils

19 Native Prairie Protection Goals (Acres)
Core Corridor Complex Corridor Agricultural Matrix Total Fee Acquisition 21,444 693 1,362 5,436 28,935 Easement 50,036 1,618 3,177 12,683 67,514 71,480 2,311 4,539 18,119 96,449 $236 M

20 Grassland and Wetland Protection Goals (Acres)
Core Corridor Complex Corridor Agricultural Matrix Total Fee Acquisition 25,725 10,131 10,507 152,728 199,091 Easement 38,590 12,306 21,014 305,455 377,365 Contract 64,315 73,551 1,069,094 1,206,281 128,630 22,437 105,072 1,527,277 1,782,737

21 Grassland and Wetland Restoration Goals (Acres)
Core Corridor Complex Corridor Agricultural Matrix Total After fee acquisition 35,985 5,779 2,643 25,088 69,495 After easement 53,977 11,558 5,286 50,176 120,997 After signing year contract 89,962 40,453 18,500 175,616 324,531 179,924 57,790 26,429 250,880 515,023

22 Take Home Message Even with major new conservation funding, “grass-based” agriculture will be essential to drive the voluntary protection and restoration of grassland and wetland.

23 Annual Enhancement Goals on Protected Lands
Core Corridor Complex Corridor Agricultural Matrix Total Native Prairie 22,390 493 650 3,402 26,935 Other Grasslands 25,831 2,867 4,964 47,194 80,856 Wetlands 31,277 2,098 4,246 69,673 107,292 79,498 5,457 9,860 120,268 215,083 $108 M

24 Annual Enhancement Goals on Unprotected Lands
Core Corridor Complex Corridor Agricultural Matrix Total Native Prairie 8,935 289 567 2,265 12,056 Other Grasslands 42,224 4,178 27,771 279,422 353,595 Wetlands 16,990 1,671 11,695 196,445 226,802 68,150 6,138 40,034 478,132 592,453 $296 M

25 Total Cost Overall cost from all sources for actions described in the plan = $3.6 billion Anticipate need from the Outdoor Heritage Fund over the next 25 years = $1.1 billion

26 Reconnecting Minnesota’s Fragmented Prairie Landscapes
One of the tools TNC makes use of is restoration – in recent projects like Glacial Ridge, we’ve taken it to a large scale, which has helped us reimagine conservation in prairie landscapes, which Steve C. will be talking about in a minute….. We took great care at glacial ridge to use local ecotype seeds, clearly define resotration outcomes in terms of historical expressions of tallgrass prairie communities, battle invasives. It was state of the art. Here is one of the questions we have for you: Please ponder this as we’ll be taking it on in your discussion groups a little later. “Restore What?” © Insert Image Credit Reconnecting Minnesota’s Fragmented Prairie Landscapes

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