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Minnesota Legislature
M.L. 2010 Projects

M.L. 2010 Projects

MN Laws 2010, Chapter 362, Section 2 (beginning July 1, 2010)

Summary of appropriations and expected outcomes

NOTE: For all projects, contact us to obtain the most up-to-date work programs for current projects (project updates are required twice each year) or the final reports of completed projects.

The following documents are short abstracts for projects funded during the 2010 Legislative Session. The final date of completion for these projects is listed at the end of the abstract. When available, we have provided links to a project's web site. The sites linked to this page are not created, maintained, or endorsed by the LCCMR office or the Minnesota Legislature.


MN Laws 2010, Chapter 362, Section 2

Subd. 03   Natural Resource Data and Information
03aCounty Geologic Atlases and Related Hydrogeologic Research
03bUpdating the Minnesota Wetlands Inventory: Phase 2
03cMinnesota Breeding Bird Atlas
03dIntegrated, Operational Bird Conservation Plan for Minnesota
03eMitigating Pollinator Decline in Minnesota - RESEARCH
03fScience and Innovation from Soudan Underground Mine State Park - RESEARCH
03gQuantifying Carbon Burial in Wetlands - RESEARCH
03hStrategic Planning for Minnesota's Natural and Artificial Watersheds
03iEcosystem Services in Agricultural Watersheds
03jFarmland Conservation in Minnesota
03kIdentifying Critical Habitats for Moose in Northeastern Minnesota - RESEARCH
 
Subd. 04   Land, Habitat, and Recreation
04aEcological Restoration Training Cooperative for Habitat Restoration
04bScientific and Natural Areas and Native Prairie Restoration, Enhancement, and Acquisition
04cState Park Improvements
04dState Park Land Acquisition
04eProtection of Rare Granite Rock Outcrop Ecosystem
04fMinnesota's Habitat Conservation Partnership Supplemental
04gMetropolitan Conservation Corridors Supplemental
04hConserving Sensitive and Priority Shorelands in Cass County
04iReconnecting Fragmented Prairie Landscapes
 
Subd. 05   Water Resources
05aUnderstanding Sources of Aquatic Contaminants of Emerging Concern - RESEARCH
05bManaging Mineland Sulfate Release in Saint Louis River Basin - RESEARCH
05cEcological Impacts of Effluent in Surface Waters and Fish - RESEARCH
05dAgricultural and Urban Runoff Water Quality Treatment Analysis
05eAssessing Septic System Discharge to Lakes - RESEARCH
05fEvaluation of Dioxins in Minnesota Lakes - RESEARCH
05gAssessment of Shallow Lake Management - RESEARCH
05hAssessing Cumulative Impacts of Shoreline Development - RESEARCH
05iTrout Stream Assessmentss - RESEARCH
 
Subd. 06   Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species
06aBiological Control of European Buckthorn and Garlic Mustard - RESEARCH
06bEcological and Hydrological Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer - RESEARCH
06cHealthy Forests to Resist Invasion - RESEARCH
06dBioacoustic Traps for Management of Round Goby - RESEARCH
 
Subd. 07   Renewable Energy
07aAlgae for Fuels Pilot Project
07bSustainable Biofuels - RESEARCH
07cLinking Habitat Restoration to Bioenergy and Local Economies
07dDemonstrating Sustainable Energy Practices at Residential Environmental Learning Centers (RELCs)
07eAnalysis of Options for Minnesota's Energy Independence - GOVERNOR VETO
 
Subd. 08   Environmental Education
08aMinnesota Conservation Apprenticeship Academy
08bEngaging Students in Environmental Stewardship through Adventure Learning
08cConnecting Youth with Nature
08dUrban Wilderness Youth Outdoor Education
08eGet Outside - Urban Woodland for Kids
08fExpanding Outdoor Classrooms at Minnesota Schools
08gIntegrating Environmental and Outdoor Education in Grades 7-12
08hProject Get Outdoors
08iFishing: Cross Cultural Gateway to Environmental Education
08jMinnesota WolfLink
08kOnline Field Trip of Minnesota River
 

Funding Source:
Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (TF)


MN Laws 2010, Chapter 362, Section 2

Subd. 03Natural Resource Data and Information

County Geologic Atlases and Related Hydrogeologic Research

Subd. 03a     $1,130,000 TF

Dale Setterholm
MN Geological Survey
2642 University Ave
St. Paul, MN 55114

Phone: (612) 627-4780 x223
Email: sette001@umn.edu
Web: http://www.geo.umn.edu/mgs/

Appropriation Language
$1,130,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University ofMinnesota for the Geologic Survey to initiate and continue the production of county geologic atlases, establish hydrologic properties necessary to water management, and investigate the use of geochemical data in water management. This appropriation represents a continuing effort to complete the county geologic atlases throughout the state. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project Overview

The Minnesota County Geologic Atlas program is an ongoing effort begun in 1982 that is being conducted jointly by the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Geological Survey and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The program collects information on the geology of Minnesota to create maps and reports depicting the characteristics and pollution sensitivity of Minnesota's ground-water resources. County Geologic Atlases are used in planning and environmental protection efforts at all levels of government and by businesses to ensure sound planning, management, and protection of land and water resources. The Minnesota Geological Survey will use this appropriation to:

  • Initiate geologic atlases for Sherburne and Morrison counties;
  • Continue work on county geologic atlases already in progress;
  • Make collected data available in a digital format;
  • Investigate the hydrologic properties of the St. Lawrence Formation in southeastern Minnesota;
  • Evaluate methods for investigating groundwater flow pathways in urban areas, using Rochester, MN as the test area.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The Minnesota Geological Survey maps sediment and rock because these materials control where water can enter the subsurface (recharge), where and how much water can reside in the ground (aquifers), where the water re-emerges (discharge), and at what rates this movement occurs. This information is essential to managing the quality of our water and the quantity that can be sustainably pumped. This project completed geologic atlases for Sherburne and Morrison counties, and contributed to atlas work in Anoka, Wright, Hennepin, Hubbard, Becker, Wadena, St. Louis, and Lake counties. Information about the geology is gleaned from the records of domestic wells, and from drilling conducted for this project. In Sherburne County we used 14,450 wells and 5 cores and in Morrison County we used 6,400 wells and 21 cores, and soil borings and geophysical surveys. From the data we created maps of the geology immediately beneath the soil; the aquifers within the glacial sediment; and the shape, elevation, and rock types of the bedrock surface. These maps and data support monitoring, wellhead protection, water appropriation, clean-ups, and supply management.

The deep bedrock aquifers in southeastern Minnesota are in most places not yet significantly impacted by pollution and presumed to be protected by low permeability overlying geologic layers, called aquitards. Even though aquitards are an important control on recharge and contaminant transport, their hydrologic characteristics are poorly understood compared to aquifers. This subproject investigated the St. Lawrence Formation through existing data, new data on fracturing, and by constructing an instrumented borehole to test the water-bearing characteristics. We learned that the St. Lawrence acts to retard vertical water flow where it is buried by more than 50 feet of overlying rock, but fails to do so in more shallow settings. Parts of the formation convey water horizontally in either setting.

A third subproject traced ground water movement in the Rochester area by examining the chemistry of the water. We learned that flow patterns are changing, apparently in response to high capacity pumping.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

County geologic atlases are distributed in print and digital formats. The digital format allows us to include all the data that support the maps and the ability to change the maps or create new ones. The products are available from the MGS web site (http://www.mngs.umn.edu/index.html). We also conduct post-project workshops in the map area to familiarize users with the products and their applications. The products are also distributed to libraries. Products of the Morrison County Geologic Atlas have been applied to finding new municipal water supplies in Little Falls and Motley. We expect both these atlases will be applied to understanding the widespread distribution of nitrate in ground water in this part of Minnesota.

Additional funding from DNR has allowed us to continue to collect data from the instrumented borehole constructed for the St. Lawrence subproject. This additional data will be combined with what we have in a formal MGS Report of Investigations. The Rochester study is likely to improve computer simulations of water flow and influence decisions about the distribution and pumping rates of the wells that supply the city.

Updating the Minnesota Wetlands Inventory: Phase 2

Subd. 03b     $1,100,000 TF

Steve Kloiber
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5164
Email: steve.kloiber@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/wetlands/nwi_proj.html

Appropriation Language
$1,100,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to continue the update of wetland inventory maps for Minnesota. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas

Subd. 03c     $372,000 TF

PART 1 ($211,000)
Mark Martell
Audubon Minnesota
2357 Ventura Dr, Ste 106
St. Paul, MN 55125

Phone: (651) 739-9332
Email: mmartell@audubon.org
Web: http://mnbba.org/

PART 2 ($161,000)
Gerald Niemi
Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) - University of Minnesota
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
Duluth, MN 55811

Phone: (218) 720-4270
Email: gniemi@nrri.umn.edu
Web: http://www.nrri.umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$372,000 is from the trust fund to continue development of a statewide survey of Minnesota breeding bird distribution and create related publications, including a book and online atlas with distribution maps and breeding status. Of this appropriation, $211,000 is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Audubon Minnesota and $161,000 is to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Natural Resources Research Institute. The atlas must be available for downloading on the Internet free of charge.

Project Overview

A state Breeding Bird Atlas is a comprehensive systematic field survey of the occurrence, distribution, diversity, and breeding status of bird species within the state. Atlases are used to set conservation priorities, develop conservation plans, and guide habitat protection and restoration efforts. Minnesota is one of only seven states in the country that has yet to complete a Breeding Bird Atlas. Audubon Minnesota and the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota - Duluth will use this appropriation to continue development of the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas and create related publications, including a book and online atlas with distribution maps, breeding status, and historical species information.

Integrated, Operational Bird Conservation Plan for Minnesota

Subd. 03d     $151,000 TF

Lee Pfannmuller
Audubon Minnesota
2357 Ventura Dr, Ste 106
St. Paul, MN 55125

Phone: (612) 810-1173
Email: leepfann@msn.com
Web: http://mn.audubon.org/

Appropriation Language
$151,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Audubon Minnesota to develop an integrated bird conservation plan targeting priority species and providing a framework for implementing coordinated, focused, and effective bird conservation throughout Minnesota.

Mitigating Pollinator Decline in Minnesota

Research Project

Subd. 03e     $297,000 TF

Vera Krischik
U of MN
1980 Folwell Ave, #219
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-7044
Email: krisc001@umn.edu
Web: http://www.entomology.umn.edu/cues/krischiklab

Appropriation Language
$297,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to assess the role of insecticides in pollinator health in order to help mitigate pollinator decline. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Science and Innovation from Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Research Project

Subd. 03f     $545,000 TF

Jeffrey Gralnick
U of MN
1479 Gortner Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 626-6496
Email: gralnick@umn.edu
Web: http://www.cbs.umn.edu/labs/gralnick/Soudan_Mine.html

Appropriation Language
$545,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to characterize unique microbes discovered in the Soudan Underground Mine State Park and investigate the potential application in bioenergy and bioremediation. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Quantifying Carbon Burial in Wetlands

Research Project

Subd. 03g     $144,000 TF

James Cotner
U of MN
100 Ecology, 1987 Upper Buford Cir, Dept. Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-1706
Email: cotne002@umn.edu
Web: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~cotne002/Site/Research.html

Appropriation Language
$144,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to determine the potential for carbon sequestration in Minnesota's shallow lakes and wetlands. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Strategic Planning for Minnesota's Natural and Artificial Watersheds

Subd. 03h     $327,000 TF

David Mulla
U of MN
439 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Upper Buford Cir
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-6721
Email: mulla003@umn.edu
Web: http://www.swac.umn.edu/People/DavidMulla/

Appropriation Language
$327,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to identify the interrelationship between artificial systems of drain tiles and ditches and natural watersheds to guide placement of buffers and stream bed restoration and modification.

Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Watersheds

Subd. 03i     $247,000 TF

Kylene Olson
Chippewa River Watershed Project
629 North 11th Street, Suite 17
Montevideo, MN 56265

Phone: (320) 269-2139 ext. 116
Email: kylene@chippewariver.org
Web: http://www.landstewardshipproject.org/

Appropriation Language
$247,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Chippewa River Watershed Project to develop local food and perennial biofuels markets coupled with conservation incentives to encourage farmers to diversify land cover in the Chippewa River Watershed supporting improvement to water quality and habitat. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Farmland Conservation in Minnesota

Subd. 03j     $100,000 TF

Jennifer Jambor-Delgado
Farmers Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG)
360 N Robert St, #500
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 223-5400
Email: jjambor-delgado@flaginc.org
Web: http://www.flaginc.org/

Appropriation Language
$100,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Farmers Legal Action Group, Inc. to assess the implementation of applicable laws for preserving agricultural land and develop a comprehensive and systematic approach and policy tools to preserve agricultural lands.

Identifying Critical Habitats for Moose in Northeastern Minnesota

Research Project

Subd. 03k     $507,000 TF

Ron Moen
UMD, NRRI
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
Duluth, MN 55811

Phone: (218) 720-4279
Email: rmoen@nrri.umn.edu
Web: http://www.nrri.umn.edu/moose/

Appropriation Language
$507,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Natural Resources Research Institute to identify critical habitats for moose, develop best management habitat protection practices, and conduct educational outreach in cooperation with the Minnesota Zoo. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Subd. 04Land, Habitat, and Recreation

Ecological Restoration Training Cooperative for Habitat Restoration

Subd. 04a     $550,000 TF

Susan Galatowitsch
U of MN
1970 Folwell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-3242
Email: galat001@umn.edu
Web: http://www.consbio.umn.edu/SG/

Appropriation Language
$550,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for improving ecological restoration success in Minnesota by developing and offering training programs for habitat restoration professionals. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Scientific and Natural Areas and Native Prairie Restoration, Enhancement, and Acquisition

Subd. 04b     $1,750,000 TF

Peggy Booth
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5088
Email: peggy.booth@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/index.html

Appropriation Language
$1,750,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire lands with high quality native plant communities and rare features to be established as scientific and natural areas as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5, restore parts of scientific and natural areas, and provide assistance and incentives for native prairie landowners. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum management standards as determined by the commissioner of natural resources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

State Park Improvements

Subd. 04c     $814,000 TF

Larry Peterson
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5593
Email: larry.Peterson@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/

Appropriation Language
$567,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for state park capital improvements and natural resource restoration. Of this amount, $250,000 is for solar energy installations in state parks and the remaining amount shall be used for park and campground restoration and improvements. Priority shall be for projects that address existing threats to public water resources. On July 1, 2010, the unobligated balance, estimated to be $200,000, of the appropriation for clean energy resource teams and community wind energy rebates in Laws 2005, First Special Session chapter 1, article 2, section 11, subdivision 10, paragraph (a), as amended by Laws 2006, chapter 243, section 15, and extended by Laws 2009, chapter 143, section 2, subdivision 16, is transferred and added to this appropriation. On July 1, 2010, the $47,000 appropriated in Laws 2009, chapter 143, section 2, subdivision 6, paragraph (f), for native plant biodiversity, invasive plant species, and invertebrates is transferred and added to this appropriation.

State Park Land Acquisition

Subd. 04d     $1,750,000 TF

Dana Vanderbosch
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 52
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5631
Email: dana.vanderbosch@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/

Appropriation Language
$1,750,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire and preserve critical parcels within the statutory boundaries of state parks. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum management standards as determined by the commissioner of natural resources. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program.

Protection of Rare Granite Rock Outcrop Ecosystem

Subd. 04e     $1,800,000 TF

Thomas Kalahar
Renville SWCD
1008 W Lincoln Ave
Olivia, MN 56277

Phone: (320) 523-1559
Email: kalahar@yahoo.com
Web: http://www.renvilleswcd.com/ and http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/projects/Renville_rock-outcrops.pdf

Appropriation Language
$1,800,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources, in cooperation with the Renville Soil and Water Conservation District, to continue to acquire perpetual easements of unique granite rock outcrops, located in the Upper Minnesota River Valley. $418,000 of this appropriation is for fiscal year 2010 and is available the day following final enactment.

Minnesota's Habitat Conservation Partnership Supplemental

Subd. 04f     $1,344,000 TF

Joe Pavelko
Pheasants Forever (on behalf of all partners)
7975 Acorn Circle
Victoria, MN 55386

Phone: (612) 532-3800
Email: jpavelko@pheasantsforever.org
Web: http://www.mnhabitatcorridors.org

Appropriation Language
$1,344,000 is added to Laws 2009, chapter 143, section 2, subdivision 4, paragraph (e), from the trust fund for the acceleration of agency programs and cooperative agreements. Of this appropriation, $308,000 is to the commissioner of natural resources for agency programs and $1,036,000 is for agreements as follows: $425,000 with Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; $50,000 with National Wild Turkey Federation; $164,000 with the Nature Conservancy; $102,000 with Minnesota Land Trust; $200,000 with the Trust for Public Land; $45,000 with Friends of Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District; and $50,000 to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to plan, restore, and acquire fragmented landscape corridors that connect areas of quality habitat to sustain fish, wildlife, and plants. The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service is an authorized cooperating partner in the appropriation. Expenditures are limited to the project corridor areas as defined in the work program. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum habitat and facility management standards as determined by the commissioner of natural resources. This appropriation may not be used for the purchase of residential structures, unless expressly approved in the work program. All conservation easements must be perpetual and have a natural resource management plan. Any land acquired in fee title by the commissioner of natural resources with money from this appropriation must be designated as an outdoor recreation unit under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.07. The commissioner may similarly designate any lands acquired in less than fee title. A list of proposed restorations and fee title and easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program. All funding for conservation easements must include a long-term stewardship plan and funding for monitoring and enforcing the agreement.

Metropolitan Conservation Corridors Supplemental

Subd. 04g     $1,750,000 TF

Sarah Strommen
Minnesota Land Trust
2356 University Avenue West, Suite 240
St. Paul, MN 55114

Phone: (651) 647-9590
Email: sstrommen@mnland.org
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/metroconservationcorridors

Appropriation Language
$1,750,000 is added to Laws 2009, chapter 143, section 2, subdivision 4, paragraph (f), from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for acceleration of agency programs and cooperative agreements. Of this appropriation, $1,750,000 is for agreements as follows: $890,000 with the Trust for Public Land; $485,000 with Minnesota Land Trust; $325,000 with Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc.; and $50,000 with Friends of the Minnesota Valley for planning, restoring, and protecting important natural areas in the metropolitan area, as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2, and portions of the surrounding counties, through grants, contracted services, technical assistance, conservation easements, and fee title acquisition. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum management standards as determined by the commissioner of natural resources. Expenditures are limited to the identified project corridor areas as defined in the work program. This appropriation may not be used for the purchase of residential structures, unless expressly approved in the work program. All conservation easements must be perpetual and have a natural resource management plan. Any land acquired in fee title by the commissioner of natural resources with money from this appropriation must be designated as an outdoor recreation unit under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.07. The commissioner may similarly designate any lands acquired in less than fee title. A list of proposed restorations and fee title and easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program. All funding for conservation easements must include a long-term stewardship plan and funding for monitoring and enforcing the agreement.

Conserving Sensitive and Priority Shorelands in Cass County

Subd. 04f     $300,000 TF

John Ringle
Cass County Environmental Services Department
300 Minnesota Ave, Box 3000
Walker, MN 56484

Phone: (218) 547-7241
Email: john.ringle@co.cass.mn.us
Web: http://www.co.cass.mn.us/esd/home_esd.html

Appropriation Language
$300,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Cass County to provide assistance for the donation of perpetual conservation easements to protect sensitive shoreland parcels for long-term protection of recreation, water quality, and critical habitat in north central Minnesota. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Reconnecting Fragmented Prairie Landscapes

Subd. 04i     $380,000 TF

Steve Chaplin
The Nature Conservancy
1101 W River Pkwy, Ste 200
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: (612) 331-0750
Email: schaplin@tnc.org
Web: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/minnesota/index.htm

Appropriation Language
$380,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Nature Conservancy to develop prairie landscape design plans and monitoring protocol involving local landowners and businesses to guide conservation, restoration, and related economic development. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Subd. 05Water Resources

Understanding Sources of Aquatic Contaminants of Emerging Concern

Research Project

Subd. 05a     $640,000 TF

Deborah Swackhamer
U of MN
Water Resources Center, 173 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-0279
Email: dswack@umn.edu
Web: http://wrc.umn.edu/people/deborahswackhamer/index.htm

Appropriation Language
$640,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to identify chemical markers to characterize sources of endocrine disruptors and pharmaceuticals entering surface waters in the Zumbro River Watershed. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Managing Mineland Sulfate Release in Saint Louis River Basin

Research Project

Subd. 05b     $270,000 TF

Michael Berndt
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5378
Email: mike.berndt@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$270,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to map current sulfate sources and assess treatment options to minimize potential impacts of mercury on fish and wildlife from sulfate releases in the St. Louis River Basin. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Ecological Impacts of Effluent in Surface Waters and Fish

Research Project

Subd. 05c     $340,000 TF

Paige Novak
U of MN
122 Civil Engineering Bldg, 500 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 626-9846
Email: novak010@umn.edu
Web: http://personal.ce.umn.edu/~novak/

Appropriation Language
$340,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota in cooperation with St. Cloud State University to determine the chemical and biological fate of phytoestrogens in surface waters and the impacts on fish. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Agricultural and Urban Runoff Water Quality Treatment Analysis

Subd. 05d     $485,000 TF

Craig Austinson
Blue Earth County Drainage Authority
410 Jackson Street
Mankato, MN 56001

Phone: (507) 304-4253
Email: Craig.Austinson@blueearthcountymn.gov
Web: http://www.co.blue-earth.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$485,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for an agreement with the Blue Earth County Drainage Authority to reduce soil erosion, peak water flows, and nutrient loading through a demonstration model evaluating storage and treatment options in drainage systems in order to improve water quality. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2014, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Assessing Septic System Discharge to Lakes

Research Project

Subd. 05e     $594,000 TF

Richard Kiesling
U.S. Geological Survey
2280 Woodale Dr
Mounds View, MN 55112

Phone: (763) 783-3131
Email: kiesling@usgs.gov
Web: http://profile.usgs.gov/professional/mypage.php?name=kiesling

Appropriation Language
$594,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of health for department activities and for an agreement with the United States Geologic Survey in cooperation with St. Cloud State University to develop quantitative data on septic system discharge of estrogenic and pharmaceutical compounds and assess septic and watershed influences on levels of contamination and biological responses in Minnesota lakes. The United States Geologic Survey is not subject to the requirements in Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Evaluation of Dioxins in Minnesota Lakes

Research Project

Subd. 05f     $264,000 TF

William Arnold
U of MN
Dept of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 625-8582
Email: arnol032@umn.edu
Web: http://www.ce.umn.edu/directory/faculty/arnold.html

Appropriation Language
$264,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to examine the concentration of dioxins in lake sediment and options to improve water quality in lakes.

Assessment of Shallow Lake Management

Research Project

Subd. 05g     $262,000 TF

Mark Hanson
DNR
Wetland Wildlife Group, 102 23rd Street NE
Bemidji, MN 56601

Phone: (218) 308-2283
Email: mark.hanson@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/wildlife/shallowlakes/index.html

Appropriation Language
$262,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to evaluate the major causes of deterioration of shallow lakes in Minnesota and evaluate results of current management efforts. This appropriation is available until June 30,2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Assessing Cumulative Impacts of Shoreline Development

Research Project

Subd. 05h     $300,000 TF

Bruce Vondracek
U of MN
1980 Folwell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-8748
Email: bvondrac@umn.edu
Web: http://fwcb.cfans.umn.edu/personnel/faculty/vondracek/index.htm

Appropriation Language
$300,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to evaluate near-shore, in-water habitat impacts from shoreline development activities to assist in the design and implementation of management practices protecting critical shorelands and aquatic habitat. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Trout Stream Assessments

Research Project

Subd. 05i     $300,000 TF

Leonard Ferrington
U of MN
219 Hodson Hall, 1980 Folwell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-3265
Email: ferri016@umn.edu
Web: http://www.entomology.umn.edu/midge/People/Ferrington/Ferrington.htm

Appropriation Language
$300,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to assess cold water aquatic insect abundance related to warming water temperatures as predictors of trout growth in southeastern Minnesota and assess options to minimize stream temperature changes. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Subd. 06Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species

Biological Control of European Buckthorn and Garlic Mustard

Research Project

Subd. 06a     $300,000 TF

Laura Van Riper
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5090
Email: laura.vanriper@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index.html

Appropriation Language
$300,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources in cooperation with the commissioner of agriculture to continue the development and implementation of biological control for European buckthorn and garlic mustard.This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Ecological and Hydrological Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer

Research Project

Subd. 06b     $636,000 TF

Anthony D'Amato
U of MN
1530 Cleveland Avenue N
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-3733
Email: damato@umn.edu
Web: http://silviculture.forestry.umn.edu/index.htm

Appropriation Language
$636,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to assess the potential impacts of emerald ash borer on Minnesota's black ash forests and quantify potential impacts on native forest vegetation, invasive species spread, and hydrology. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2015, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project Overview

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that has been decimating ash trees throughout the Great Lake states and is currently advancing into Minnesota, where it threatens ash forests that occur across much of the state. Of particular concern is the impact Emerald Ash Borer will have on the ecology and functioning of black ash swamps, which cover over one million acres in Minnesota and represent the state's most common ash forest type. Scientists at the University of Minnesota's Department of Forest Resources are using this appropriation to conduct a five year study that will assess the likelihood of this invasive insect extending into the black ash forests in the northern part of Minnesota and its potential impact on these marshy forest areas. Findings will inform management recommendations for mitigating the potential impacts of Emerald Ash Borer.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been decimating ash throughout the Lake States and is currently threatening the future of the ash forests that occur across much of Minnesota. Of particular concern is the impact of EAB on black ash swamps, which cover over one million acres. This project was designed to increase our understanding of the impacts of EAB through the establishment of a network of research sites in black ash forests. Treatments simulating EAB-induced mortality (all trees girdled in 4-acre areas) and associated management responses (i.e., clearcutting and group selection harvests) were implemented at eight, large-scale (20 acre) research sites on the Chippewa National Forest. Each treatment included two levels of planting (planting or no planting) to evaluate the potential for planting non-host species to increase the resilience of these areas to EAB. Planted seedlings included American elm, white cedar, yellow birch, tamarack, and swamp white oak. Results from this project indicate that loss of black ash will have significant impacts on the hydrology of these areas with clearcut and girdled (EAB mortality) plots experiencing flooded conditions that extended six to eight weeks longer than other areas. Estimates of black ash's contribution to the water budget indicate it accounts for 40-80% of total evapotranspiration, reinforcing the important role it plays in ash swamp hydrology. Three-year survival of planted seedlings also reflect its hydrologic influence, with lowest overall survival rates in clearcuts due to flooded, marsh-like conditions in these areas. Swamp white oak, hackberry, and American elm had the greatest survival rates of planted species (>80% in non-clearcut areas) with the lowest rates observed for black spruce, northern white cedar, and tamarack (less than 20%). Collectively, these results underscore the importance of maintaining black ash canopies in these areas to increase the success of plantings aimed at reducing vulnerability to EAB.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

The results of this project have been shared on numerous occasions with resource professionals, policy makers, citizens, and scientists over the past five years in efforts to inform forest conservation decisions regarding the impacts of emerald ash borer on black ash forests in Minnesota. These dissemination activities have included the development of a fact sheet for LCCMR members that was distributed on the LCCMR tour of Itasca State Park on July 18, 2013. In addition, we have shared the results from this project with private forest landowners, and county, state, tribal and federal natural resource managers on multiple occasions, including at the Aitkin County Land Department Ash Workshop on March 9, 2012, Forest Health Workshop in Walker, MN on February 12, 2013, and North Central Forest Pest Workshop in Frontenac, MN on September 24, 2013. We organized and led a Black Ash Field Day at our research sites on August 21, 2013 for 38 field foresters, loggers, and landowners and also included several stops at our research sites as part of a Climate-Informed Forest Management field tour of the Chippewa National Forest on May 8, 2014 for 100 participants. We have developed a "silviculture case study" of the five-year results of this project that will posted online on the "Great Lakes Silviculture Prescription Library" website this fall. Result of the project have also been presented at the Midwest-Great Lakes Society for Ecological Restoration Chapter Meeting in St. Paul, MN on March 28, 2014, Midwest Invasive Species Conference in Duluth, MN on October 22, 2014, Black Ash Symposium in Orono, ME on November 4, 2014, and Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative Wildlife and Forest Research Review in Cloquet, MN on February 24, 2015. Finally, the project PI has served on the Minnesota DNR black ash management guideline committee since the inception of this project and has shared project results to influence the current recommendations for managing MN black ash forests in the face of EAB. Publications resulting from this work are available for download from the Department of Forest Resources web site (www.forestry.umn.edu). Additional publications from this work that are currently in development will also be posted on this site and shared with LCCMR staff for dissemination.

Healthy Forests to Resist Invasion

Research Project

Subd. 06c     $359,000 TF

Peter Reich
U of MN
1530 Cleveland Ave N
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-4270
Email: preich@umn.edu
Web: http://forestecology.cfans.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$359,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to assess the role of forest health management in resisting infestation of invasive species. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project Overview

Invasive plants cause considerable ecological and economic damage in Minnesota and their control is often difficult to achieve in a long-term cost-effective manner. Although not immune from invasion, healthy forests may be somewhat resistant to invasion; therefore management aimed at maintaining, restoring, or enhancing key forest characteristics might be a useful strategy for slowing forest invasion. Scientists from the University of Minnesota's Department of Forest Resources will use this appropriation to study 80 different forest sites in order to determine the links between forest attributes and plant invasion. Findings will be used to make recommendations for how to best manage forests to resist invasive species.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The primary project goal was to identify forest characteristics effective as deterrents to invasive plants. Healthy forests are likely more resistant to invaders, so management to enhance these key characteristics might slow the spread of invaders.

Invasive plants sometimes form dense thickets that affect recreation and wildlife and exclude native plant species. To determine how various site characteristics affected the abundance of common buckthorn and other invaders, we surveyed plant diversity in 67 sites in central and southern Minnesota. At each site, we measured environmental characteristics to simultaneously account for other factors that might influence invasibility. Buckthorn was most abundant in sites with sparse leaf litter, where seed availability was high, and where native plant diversity was low. Both a greenhouse experiment and a second field study indicated that introduced earthworms also benefit germinating invasive plants by eliminating leaf litter.

We propose the idea of "preventive environmental care" that, like preventative medicine, manages forests to maintain "wellness". Although not a panacea for reducing invasion, it is worth considering given the challenges of controlling established invasive species. We suggest managers enhance the competitive challenge to invaders by increasing the diversity of native species by seeding natives and/or reducing the density of white-tailed deer, a species that severely impacts native forest plants. Furthermore, timber harvests should be limited to the winter season and trail maintenance should be done in a way that limits disturbance. This will help maintain intact native understory plants and litter layers, important deterrents to invasive plant establishment. However, none of these approaches are likely to be successful without a strong effort to control landscape level seed availability. Collaborative management with neighboring landowners is crucial to any effort that hopes to reduce invasibility.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

To summarize results from the project and provide guidelines for management, we prepared a pamphlet that included all aspects of the research, as it pertains to the invasion of buckthorn. The pamphlet also provides suggestions for pre-invasion management to reduce invasibility, the main focus of the "Healthy Forests" research project. We distributed the pamphlet to all participants at a symposium held on August 14, 2013. The pamphlet is available as a pdf from the project website, http://forestecology.cfans.umn.edu/Research/Buckthorn/index.htm.

We presented talks at the Upper Midwest Invasive Species conference (a regional meeting focused on invasive species) and the Ecological Society of America conference (an international conference focusing on all aspects of ecology) in 2012 and 2013. The talks focused on measuring propagule pressure, the greenhouse study, the relationship between earthworm and buckthorn buckthorn, and the effects of native species diversity on buckthorn abundance.

On August 14, we hosted a symposium on the St. Paul campus that brought together managers, researchers, and private landowners to share the latest information on invasive plants in Minnesota forests. In addition to talks based on this LCCMR project, other speakers presented information about buckthorn invasion on the prairie-forest border in west central Minnesota, garlic mustard (another common plant invader in Minnesota's forests) as a driver of species invasion, management of buckthorn from a forester's perspective, and management efforts to control other common invasive plants. The symposium was attended by 100 people. The project website has links to recordings of all the symposium talks, as well as links to the MS Access database, species lists from all survey sites, and a photo gallery.

We have published one paper ("Community phylogenetic diversity and abiotic site characteristics influence abundance of the invasive plant Rhamnus cathartica L.") in the Journal of Plant Ecology. A second paper based on results from our greenhouse experiment (Native plant diversity and introduced earthworms have contrasting effects on the success of invasive plants") has been submitted to the peer-reviewed journal Biological Invasions. More papers are in preparation including one focusing on propagule pressure and another that documents the relationship between earthworms and buckthorn abundance.

Bioacoustic Traps for Management of Round Goby

Research Project

Subd. 06d     $175,000 TF

Allen Mensinger
U of MN - Duluth
1035 Kirby Dr
Duluth, MN 55812

Phone: (218) 726-7259
Email: amensing@d.umn.edu
Web: http://www.d.umn.edu/~amensing/toadfish.html

Appropriation Language
$175,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to evaluate bioacoustic technology specific to invasive round goby in Lake Superior as a method for early detection and population reduction. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project Overview

The round goby is an invasive fish that is rapidly spreading throughout the Great Lakes. One reason for its rapid expansion is that round goby outcompetes native fish through its ability to spawn throughout the spring and summer in contrast to native fish, which only spawn once a year. Interrupting this reproductive cycle in some way could be used to help halt further expansion of round goby and control existing populations. Scientists from the University of Minnesota - Duluth are using this appropriation to develop and test a method for trapping these fish using sounds that mimic those that male gobies use to attract females to the nest.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The bioacoustics of the round goby population in the Duluth-Superior Harbor were investigated over the course of three summers. The goal of the project was to assess the behavior and the sound production of this invasive species to develop a fish trap to target this invasive species. Fish were found to move offshore during the winter and thus subsequent concentrations were thought to have great potential for collection. However, fish were found to be inactive the majority of the winter and did not produce sound. Sound production coincided with the resumption of swimming activity and feeding in late spring with vocalization first recorded when water temperature exceeded 8 degrees C, which correlated with the initiation of spawning. Two choice experimental trials succeeded in attracting the fish to sound sources using both pure tones and round goby vocalizations, indicating that fish can find the origin of sound. Several different traps were produced and bioacoustical field trials were conducted. We were able to capture, for the first time, round gobies in unbaited traps using sound as the only stimulus and observed many round gobies approach sound sources but fail to enter the traps. As they readily enter the same traps when baited, it was concluded that although sound is an effective attractant, it is not the only sensory modality that round goby use to approach calling males. Future experiments that would combine sound with a large sexually mature fish and/or pheromones could significantly increase the number of fish that enter the trap and could prove to be an effective strategy.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

Project manager collaborated with the Great Lakes aquarium to produce a audio video exhibit on invasive fish. Two master's students, Jared Leino (degree pending) and Elise Cordo (degree in progress), received funding from the project and five undergraduate students received funding for summer research. Additionally several manuscripts are in preparation and will be submitted for publication.

Subd. 07Renewable Energy

Algae for Fuels Pilot Project

Subd. 07a     $900,000 TF

Roger Ruan
U of MN
1390 Eckles Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-1710
Email: ruanx001@umn.edu
Web: http://biorefining.cfans.umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$900,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to demonstrate an innovative microalgae production system utilizing and treating sanitary wastewater to produce biofuels from algae. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project Overview

Biomass-based energy holds important potential as a viable renewable alternative to non-renewable fossil-based energy supplies; however significant challenges to biomass energy technologies remain to be overcome before such a role can be achieved at a large scale. Researchers at the University of Minnesota's Center for Biorefining, in partnership with the Metropolitan Council, are using this appropriation to develop, build, and test a pilot scale fuel production system that uses the nutrients in sewage wastewater to grow algae that can then be harvested to produce biodiesel. Additional benefits resulting from the system may include improved water quality, minimized freshwater and land use, reduced carbon emissions, and capture and recycling of plant nutrients. With additional research and development of this system it could potentially be implemented at other wastewater treatment facilities and adapted to other waste streams throughout Minnesota and beyond.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Current biomass energy technologies have encountered economic, ecological, and policy concerns, including feed stock procurement, energy balance, carbon footprint, competition for food and fuel, water use, and others. This project was built on our existing collaborative R&D partnership to demonstrate an innovative photosynthetic algae production system which simultaneously produces high lipid oil for bio-fuel production, captures and recycles nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater, and sequesters carbon dioxide. The goal of the project was to develop, build, and test a pilot scale algae production system that will treat concentrated wastewater and animal facility wastewater and generate algal biomass for production of biofuels and bioproducts. More than 10 high performance algae strains have been developed for specific applications such as oil accumulation, nutrient removal, growth under low temperature and low light conditions, and accumulation of high value lipids. Growth conditions were optimized for specific applications. A pilot cultivation facility with a cultivation volume of 20,000 liters was developed and demonstrated. The microwave assisted pyrolysis was found to be an excellent conversion alternative to conventional oil extraction based biodiesel process, and the hydrothermal process is a cost effective pretreatment technology to improve dewatering of algal biomass. The life cycle analysis results indicate that our technologies, which integrate wastewater into algal cultivation, can improve the environmental performance of algal biofuels. The life cycle analysis study also suggests that utilization of multiple major waste streams in wastewater plants should be developed to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of algae based technologies. The outcomes of the project point to a great potential of algae technologies for simultaneous removal of nitrogen, phosphorus, chemical oxygen demand (COD), and other nutrients in municipal and animal wastewaters; sequestration of carbons in organic matters and flue gas; and at the same time accumulation of biomass for production of high vale biofuels and bioproducts.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

Information about the project results were disseminated through more than 10 presentations at national and international conferences, five demonstrations to stakeholders, eleven peer-reviewed journal publications, and through a website: http://biorefining.cfans.umn.edu.

Sustainable Biofuels

Research Project

Subd. 07b     $221,000 TF

David Tilman
Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
100 Ecology, 1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-5740
Email: tilman@umn.edu
Web: http://www.cedarcreek.umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$221,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to determine how fertilization and irrigation impact yields of grass monoculture and high diversity prairie biofuel crops, their storage of soil carbon, and susceptibility to invasion by exotic species. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project Overview

Perennial grasslands have the potential to provide Minnesota with locally grown energy sources that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality, and provide other important benefits. However, much remains unknown about how these crops will be impacted by factors such as climate change and invasive species. Through this appropriation, researchers at the University of Minnesota's Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve will study how irrigation, fertilization, and climate warming impact perennial grassland biofuel crops in terms of yield, carbon sequestration, plant biodiversity, water quality, and susceptibility to invasive species. Findings will be used to develop methods for optimizing biofuel production, carbon storage, and habitat restoration.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Minnesota's perennial grasslands produce considerable biomass that could become a valuable resource for producing renewable energy. How might Minnesota's capacity to produce biomass for biofuels be impacted by climate change and anticipated mitigation practices? We explored the impacts of warming, fertilization, and irrigation on biomass production at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.

Our major overall finding is that high diversity mixtures of prairie perennials provided the best combination of biomass production, invasion resistance, carbon storage in soil, and response to climate warming of all the biomass crops we tested.

Specific findings from the Climate Experiment include:

  1. Compared to low diversity mixtures of prairie plant species, high diversity mixtures produced much more biomass when experiencing normal weather, were more resilient to the stress of warming, and had their biomass production increase the most from warming.
  2. High diversity mixes enhanced ecosystem services more than low diversity mixes by sequestering more carbon in soils and being less prone to invasion by non-native species.
  3. Warming inhibited seed establishment. This could reduce invasions by non-native species, but might threaten establishment of native prairie restorations.

The Fertilization & Irrigation Experiment found:

  1. Fertilization had similar impacts across all species mixtures.
  2. Moderate fertilization and irrigation increased productivity, with the largest effects in the Panicum, Panicum+Grasses, and High Diversity plots.

Overall findings on plant invasion showed:

  1. Invasion is inhibited by higher diversity species mixtures.
  2. A potential biofuel crop, Miscanthus (as a sterile hybrid), was ineffective at producing biomass in central Minnesota, at least on sandy, drier soils. It had detectable, but moderate invasion into native prairies.

This research has been documented in one publication. Two manuscripts have been submitted and are either in review or under revision. Another manuscript is in preparation. We anticipate additional publications will follow. In 2012, the education programming Cedar Creek reached 6,619 users, including K-12 students, teachers, and the general public.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

The data from these studies will be included in Cedar Creek's database and made publicly available on the Cedar Creek website. Researchers around the world access and use the data on this site for diverse ecological analyses in many research areas including, among others, biodiversity, invasion, and climate change studies.

The results of these studies are integrated into the educational programming and outreach at Cedar Creek. In 2012, 1,777 K-12 students participated in on-site programs. 1,062 K-12 students participated in off-site programs. Furthermore, 120 K-12 teachers participated in professional development opportunities at Cedar Creek and in their schools. At the university level, 845 students and faculty have made use of Cedar Creek programs, courses, meetings, and workshops both on and off-site. There have been 1,070 visitors to the experimental sites where this study took place.

One journal article that documents findings from this study has been published. See:

Isbell, F., 2013, Nutrient enrichment, biodiversity loss, and consequent declines in ecosystem productivity, PNAS, 110: 29.

A second publication by Heather Whittington is under revision in Oecologia and a third has been submitted to Functional Biology. Jane Cowles has a fourth article in preparation. We anticipate additional publications will result from this work.

Linking Habitat Restoration to Bioenergy and Local Economies

Subd. 07c     $600,000 TF

Barb Spears
DNR
1200 Warner Rd
St. Paul, MN 55106

Phone: (651) 259-5849
Email: barb.spears@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: http://mndnr.gov/eco/habitat_biomass.html

Appropriation Language
$600,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to restore high quality native habitats and expand market opportunities for utilizing postharvest restoration as a bioenergy source. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project Overview

More than 7,000 acres of public and private lands needing restoration have been identified within 75 miles of St. Paul. Given the various emerging markets for woody biomass, a unique opportunity has been identified. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will use this appropriation to continue development of an innovative approach to improving lands by harvesting ecologically inappropriate woody vegetation and working with local markets to turn the resulting biomass into marketable products such as mulch, animal bedding, firewood, and wood pellets for energy generation. Funds raised from the sale of these products could then be used to expand this type of model into other areas of Minnesota. In addition to helping stimulate local economies, benefits of this approach also include enhanced biodiversity and effective utilization of woody material traditionally burned or landfilled.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

This innovative project helped restore 385 acres of critical habitat and high quality native plant communities by removing ecologically inappropriate woody vegetation (exotic and/or native species) while stimulating local economies through jobs and strategic utilization of the biomass material for bioenergy and other products. This project facilitated habitat restoration efforts that might not have otherwise occurred while making the woody material, traditionally burned or landfilled, available to established and emerging woody biomass markets.

Of the $600,000 appropriation, $490,666 was spent on eleven projects. Seven non-DNR public and private landowners received a total of $324,530 granted through a competitive process. Four DNR projects received a total of $166,136. A variety of types of projects (based on restoration goals, species/type of woody biomass material, density, distance, land ownership, utilization opportunity, etc.) were completed.

Projects were selected based on critical requirements including ecological value and recovery potential of the project site, current ecologically-based management plan, project-specific harvest plan, post-harvest restoration plan, and demonstrated capacity and long-term commitment to effectively manage the site to achieve and maintain restoration goals.

Viable markets were identified prior to project implementation. Utilization of the woody biomass resulted in 291 semi-truck loads or 5,280 tons for bioenergy, 242 semi-truck loads of commercial mulch, 450 cords of pine sawlogs, 6 log loads of cottonwood for pallets, and pine cabin logs. Biomass material was either sold separately from the harvest with revenue collected, or in conjunction with the harvest where contractors valued the material (deducted from the harvest bid) and were responsible for final utilization. Revenues collected ($11,100) and values attributed ($4,000) were reinvested for further purposes of the project.

This project demonstrated that there are opportunities to sell or properly utilize ecologically inappropriate woody vegetation removed through habitat restoration activities. The long-term vision for this effort is to achieve an ecologically sound and systematic approach that addresses: current and future issues of habitat restoration and enhancement; renewable energy and climate change; invasive species, and natural resources conservation planning and implementation - all of which are effected, to some degree, by the impacts and opportunities of woody biomass.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

The webpage "Linking Habitat Restoration to Bioenergy and Local Economies" located at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/habitat_biomass.htmlprovides an overview of the entire project, the project fact sheet, the LCCMR-approved Work Program, and the final report.

Project data were compiled and regularly updated for the DNR's Grant Outcomes webpage to provide project descriptions, funding information, indicators, targets and outcomes information. The website is located at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/outcomes/index.html.

Project information was shared at public workshops, conferences and meetings through formal presentations, panel discussions, informal conversations and handouts, such as the project fact sheet and other printed materials, targeted for the audience. Project information was also shared with DNR staff through staff meetings, project coordination, formal presentations, and informal discussions.

Telephone conversations and meetings were convened with land managers/owners, harvest contractors, and biomass market industry representatives to discuss the project, garner insights for improvements to implementing this project, identify challenges and opportunities to move this effort forward and to facilitate connections between landowners, contractors, and biomass end-users.

The key messages were:

  1. For land managers/owners conducting habitat restoration projects: explore and implement the option to utilize the biomass material removed versus piling and burning or landfilling;
  2. For contractors: provide the combined service of harvest and utilization of the material; and
  3. For end-users: acknowledge habitat restoration projects as a potential significant source of material and to seek this opportunity.

Demonstrating Sustainable Energy Practices at Residential Environmental Learning Centers (RELCs)

Subd. 07d     $1,500,000 TF

Joe Deden
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
28097 Goodview Dr
Lanesboro, MN 55949

Phone: (507) 467-2437
Email: director@eagle-bluff.org
Web: http://www.eagle-bluff.org/

Appropriation Language
$1,500,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements as follows: $206,000 with Audubon Center of the North Woods; $212,000 with Deep Portage Learning Center; $350,000 with Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center; $258,000 with Laurentian Environmental Learning Center; $240,000 with Long Lake Conservation Center; and $234,000 with Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center to implement renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy conservation practices at the facilities. Efforts will include dissemination of related energy education.

GOVERNOR VETO Analysis of Options for Minnesota's Energy Independence

Subd. 07e     $143,000 TF

Melisa Pollak
U of M
154 Hubert H. Humphrey Center 301 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Appropriation Language
$143,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for a life-cycle analysis of low carbon energy technologies available to implement in Minnesota.

Subd. 08Environmental Education

Minnesota Conservation Apprenticeship Academy

Subd. 08a     $368,000 TF

Steve Woods
Board of Water and Soil Resources
520 Lafayette Rd N
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 297-7748
Email: steve.woods@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$368,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources in cooperation with the Minnesota Conservation Corps or its successor to train and mentor future conservation professionals by providing apprenticeship service opportunities to soil and water conservation districts. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and the final products delivered.

Project Overview

Many of the most experienced conservation practitioners at local soil and water conservation districts throughout the state are nearing retirement, and with their departure will go much of their practical, on-the-ground knowledge, experience, and skills. Meanwhile, college students seeking to be the next generation of conservation practitioners have knowledge of emerging technologies and other innovations that can improve and contribute to current conservation efforts. Through this appropriation the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources will work with the Minnesota Conservation Corps to find and place a total of 60 students in apprenticeship positions with county soil and water conservation district offices throughout the state. This unique program will provide an opportunity for interns to gain valuable in-the-field experience from current practitioners while sharing their knowledge with those practitioners about the newest ideas and solutions for meeting today's natural resource challenges.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Many of Minnesota's conservation districts' most experienced conservation professionals and practitioners are nearing retirement age but due to budget constraints will not be replaced until they have left employment. Consequently, Minnesota is missing a great opportunity to transfer knowledge and experience to the next generation responsible for Minnesota's conservation.

While college graduates with conservation-related degrees are knowledgeable in technology, theory, and research methods, their practical, on-the-ground skills need development. Communicating with landowners and adjusting designs for field nuances are vital skills for the success of conservation projects and are best learned from seasoned professionals. In turn, apprentices bring knowledge of emerging technologies and other innovations to improve the quality and productivity of current conservation efforts. This allows for a cross-pollination of ideas and solutions for natural resource challenges.

From 2011 to 2012, 65 students were placed with 60 Conservation Districts. During this time, the apprentices planted 33,339 trees, took 5,219 samples to monitor water quality; provided environmental education to 1,495 people; conducted 1,372 surveys; restored 1,542 acres of habitat through invasive species removal; completed 466,773 square feet of rain garden planting and maintenance; 272,173 square feet of erosion control and shoreline restoration; and 12,933,645 square feet of seeding. Due to the 2011 state shut down, a shifting of allocated funds allowed for the placement of an additional 35 students with conservation districts in May of 2013.

This program has benefits to both students and conservation districts. 100% of apprentices indicated the hands-on experience gained during the apprenticeship will enhance their future academic studies, and that they now have increased technical conservation skills and are more prepared for a future career in conservation.

98% of the Districts were satisfied with the work their apprentices completed, and 100% indicate they would participate in the program again. Managers also indicated that the work conducted by the apprentices increased the amount of conservation practices delivered by their districts during the program period.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

Information from the project has been disseminated through reports to LCCMR, press releases by BWSR and the Governor's Office, local press releases by SWCDs, and through the Conservation Corps newsletter and annual report. Information was used to recruit apprentices and increase awareness of the project.

Communication and outreach activities include the aforementioned reports, press releases, and electronic newsletters. Additionally, BWSR and Conservation Corps staff conducted outreach to SWCDs to find optimal matches between districts and apprentices. Through the course of their work, the apprentices conducted significant outreach to land owners and residents in topics ranging from easement protection, to water quality education, to plant biodiversity.

Engaging Students in Environmental Stewardship through Adventure Learning

Subd. 08b     $250,000 TF

Nicole Rom
Will Steger Foundation
2801 21st Avenue S, Ste 127
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Phone: (612) 278-7147
Email: nicole@willstegerfoundation.org
Web: http://www.willstegerfoundation.org

Appropriation Language
$250,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Will Steger Foundation to provide curriculum, teacher training, online learning, and grants to schools on investigating the connection between Minnesota's changing climate and the impacts on ecosystems and natural resources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Connecting Youth with Nature

Subd. 08c     $160,000 TF

Carrol Henderson
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5104
Email: carrol.henderson@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/projects/digitalbridge.html

Appropriation Language
$160,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to hold teacher training workshops on the use of digital photography as a tool for learning about nature. The equipment must be provided from other funds.

Urban Wilderness Youth Outdoor Education

Subd. 08d     $xx TF

Greg Lais
Wilderness Inquiry
808 14th Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Phone: (612) 676-9409
Email: greglais@wildernessinquiry.org

Appropriation Language
$557,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Wilderness Inquiry to provide an outdoor education and recreation program on the Mississippi River. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Get Outside - Urban Woodland for Kids

Subd. 08e     $218,000 TF

Bryan Murphy
City of Saint Paul, Dept of Parks and Recreation
400 City Hall Annex, 25 West Fourth Street
St. Paul, MN 55102

Phone: (651) 266-6411
Email: Bryan.Murphy@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Web: http://www.comowoodland.org

Appropriation Language
$218,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of St. Paul, Department of Parks and Recreation, to restore and develop an outdoor classroom for ecological education and historical interpretation at Como Regional Park in St. Paul. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Expanding Outdoor Classrooms at Minnesota Schools

Subd. 08f     $300,000 TF

Amy Kay Kerber
DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5263
Email: amykay.kerber@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: http://www.mndnr.gov/schoolforest

Appropriation Language
$300,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to establish additional and enhance existing outdoor school forest and prairie classroom networks throughout Minnesota.

Integrated Environmental and Outdoor Education in Grades 7-12

Subd. 08g     $300,000 TF

Jeff Ledermann
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113-4266

Phone: (651) 582-8602
Email: jeff.ledermann@state.mn.us
Web: http://education.state.mn.us and http://www.seek.state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$300,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of education in cooperation with the commissioner of natural resources to train and support grade 7-12 teachers to integrate environmental and outdoor education into the instruction of academic standards.

Project Get Outdoors

Subd. 08h     $15,000 TF

Sara Grover
Project Get Outdoors, Inc.
Whitewater State Park, 19041 Hwy 74
Altura, MN 55910

Phone: (507) 951-5885
Email: sara.grover@yahoo.com
Web: http://mnprojectgetoutdoors.org/

Appropriation Language
$15,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Project Get Outdoors, Inc. to develop out of school programs connecting children to local nature experiences.

Fishing: Cross Cultural Gateway to Environmental Education

Subd. 08i     $155,000 TF

Ly Vang
Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women in MN
1101 N Snelling Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (651) 398-2917
Email: lyvangaahwm@yahoo.com

Appropriation Language
$155,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women in Minnesota to provide environmental information and teaching skills to and increase participation of Southeast Asian communities through the gateway of fishing skills. Information on mercury in fish advisories must be included as part of the educational outreach. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project Overview

The number of people from other cultures and with other native languages is increasing in Minnesota. It is important for these new Minnesota residents to have knowledge of behaviors that best ensure protection of Minnesota's natural resources into the future. However, effectively communicating with people across cultures to change behaviors can be challenging. Through this appropriation, the Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women in Minnesota and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization are partnering to use the common ground of fishing as a foundation for community outreach on environmental stewardship to Southeast Asian elders, youth, and families. Public events will be held that combine fishing and environmental education on topics including water quality, invasive species, lead-free tackle, mercury and other contaminants, fish consumption advisories, and fishing regulations.

Minnesota WolfLink

Subd. 08j     $193,000 TF

Sharon Reed
International Wolf Center
3410 Winnetka Ave N, Suite 101
Minneapolis, MN 55427

Phone: (763) 560-7374 x221
Email: sreed@wolf.org
Web: http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/wolflink.asp

Appropriation Language
$193,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the InternationalWolf Center to develop interactive onsite and distance learning about wolves and their habitat. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2013, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Online Field Trip of Minnesota River

Subd. 08k     $124,000 TF

Kimberly Musser
MN State University - Mankato
184 Trafton Science Center S
Mankato, MN 56001

Phone: (507) 389-5492
Email: kimberly.musser@mnsu.edu
Web: http://mrbdc.mnsu.edu

Appropriation Language
$124,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Minnesota State University - Mankato to develop online educational materials on the Minnesota River for schools and outreach centers.