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Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources

M.L. 2015 Projects

M.L. 2015 Projects

MN Laws 2015, Chapter 76, Section 2 (beginning July 1, 2015)

For the FY 2016 and FY 2017 biennium (July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2017), approximately $46.3 million is available each year (total = $92,674,000) for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. In response to the 2015 Request for Proposal (RFP) 152 proposals requesting a total of approximately $126.3 million were received. Through a competitive, multi-step process, 76 of these proposals, requesting a total of $74.9 million, were chosen to present to the LCCMR and 65 of those proposals were selected to receive a recommendation for funding to the 2015 MN Legislature.The Legislature adopted 63 of these project recommendations and replaced two of them with two new project appropriations on 05/18/15. The project appropriations adopted by the Legislature were signed into law by the Governor on 05/22/15.

LINKS TO:

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.

When available, we have provided links to web sites related to the project. The sites linked to this page are not created, maintained, or endorsed by the LCCMR office or the Minnesota Legislature.


Subd. 03   Foundational Natural Resource Data and Information
03aCounty Geologic Atlas - Part A
03bCounty Geologic Atlas - Part B
03cMinnesota Biological Survey
03dMinnesota Biodiversity Atlas for Enhanced Natural Resource Management
03eUpdating the National Wetland Inventory for Minnesota - Phase V
03fCreating a Statewide Wetland Bird Monitoring Program
03gMinnesota Native Bee Atlas
03hReintroduction and Interpretation of Bison in Minnesota State Parks
03iEndangered Bats, White-Nose Syndrome, and Forest Habitat - RESEARCH
03jAssessing Contaminants in Minnesota Loons and Pelicans - Phase III
03kMovement and Seasonal Habitat Use of Minnesota Elk - RESEARCH
03lGenetic and Camera Techniques to Estimate Carnivore Populations - RESEARCH
03mAquatic and Terrestrial Reptile Habitat
03nDigitization of Historic Gullion Ruffed Grouse Research
03oEffects of Grazing Versus Fire for Prairie Management - RESEARCH
03pAssessing Ecological Impact of St. Anthony Falls Lock Closure
03qFoundational Dataset Characterizing Historic Forest Disturbance Impacts
03rHydrologic Effects of Contemporary Forest Practices in Minnesota - RESEARCH
03sHabitat Mitigation for Goblin Fern Conservation
 
Subd. 04   Water Resources
04aUnderstanding Water Scarcity, Threats, and Values to Improve Management - RESEARCH
04bBiofilm Technology for Water Nutrient Removal - RESEARCH
04cBiological Consequences of Septic Pollution in Minnesota Lakes - RESEARCH
04dPreventing Phosphorous from Entering Water Resources through Drain Tiles - RESEARCH
04eSoutheast Minnesota Cover Crop and Soil Health Initiatives
04fSoutheast Minnesota Subsurface Drainage Impacts on Groundwater Recharge - RESEARCH
04gUsing Hydroacoustics to Monitor Sediment in Minnesota Rivers - RESEARCH
04hAssessment of Irrigation Efficiencies in Benton County
04iShoreview Water Consumption and Groundwater Awareness Project
 
Subd. 05   Environmental Education
05aTrap Shooting Sports Facility Grants
05bConnecting Students with Watersheds through Hands-On Learning
05cZumbro River Watershed Recreational Learning Stewardship Sites
05dStudents Engaging Local Watersheds Using Mobile Technologies
05eMississippi River Water Journey Camps
 
Subd. 06   Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species
06aMinnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center
06bEmerald Ash Borer Ecological and Hydrological Impacts - Phase II - RESEARCH
06cBiological Control of Canada Thistle - RESEARCH
06dPreventing a New Disease of Pines in Minnesota - RESEARCH
 
Subd. 07   Air Quality, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy
07aRenewable and Sustainable Fertilizers Produced Locally - RESEARCH
07bReducing Emissions from Open Burning through Biomass Gasification
07cBuilding Deconstruction to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Solid Waste
 
Subd. 08   Methods to Protect, Restore, and Enhance Land, Water, and Habitat
08aPrioritizing Future Management of North Shore Trout Streams
08bPropagating Native Plants and Restoring Diverse Habitats
08cPreserving and Protecting Minnesota Native Orchid Species
08dAcceleration of Minnesota Conservation Assistance - Final Phase
08eMetro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Prairie, Forest, and Savanna Restoration
08fMetro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Enhancing Restoration Techniques for Improved Climate Resilience and Pollinator Conservation
08gMinnesota State University Moorhead Prairie and Riparian Restoration and Monitoring
08hImproving Community Forests Through Citizen Engagement
08iFlood Recovery on Sargent Creek Duluth Habitat Restoration
08jShoreland Protection for the Lower St. Croix River
08kRedwood and Renville Counties Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Master Plan
 
Subd. 09   Land Acquisition for Habitat and Recreation
09aState Parks and State Trails Land Acquisitions
09bMetropolitan Regional Park System Land Acquisition - Phase IV
09cSNA Acquisition, Restoration, Enhancement and Public Engagement
09dNative Prairie Stewardship and Prairie Bank Easement Acquisition
09eMetro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Coordination and Mapping and Conservation Easements
09fMetro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Strategic Lands Protection
09gMetro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Priority Expansion of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
09hMetro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Wildlife Management Area Acquisition
09iMesabi Trail Development Soudan to Ely - Phase II
09jMulti-benefit Watershed Scale Conservation on North Central Lakes
09kConservation Easement Assessment and Valuation System Development
 
Subd. 10   Emerging Issues Account
10Emerging Issues Account
 
Subd. 11   Administration and Contract Agreement Reimbursement
11aLegislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR)
11bContract Agreement Reimbursement
 

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


MN Laws 2015, Chapter 76, Section 2


Subd. 03  Foundational Natural Resource Data and Information


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County Geologic Atlases - Part A
Subd. 03a     $2,040,000 TF

Dale Setterholm
U of MN - MN Geological Survey
2642 University Ave W
St. Paul, MN 55114-1057

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

Appropriation Language
$2,040,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Minnesota Geological Survey to continue acceleration of the production of county geologic atlases for the purpose of sustainable management of surface water and groundwater resources. This appropriation is to complete Part A of county geologic atlases, which focuses on the properties and distribution of earth materials in order to define aquifer boundaries and the connection of aquifers to the land surface and surface water resources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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County Geologic Atlases - Part B
Subd. 03b     $2,000,000 TF

Jan Falteisek
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd N
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 259-5665
Email:  jan.falteisek@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.mndnr.gov

Appropriation Language
$2,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to continue acceleration of the production of county geologic atlases for the purpose of sustainable management of surface water and groundwater resources. This appropriation is to complete Part B of county geologic atlases, which focuses on the properties and distribution of subsurface water found within geologic formations mapped in Part A in order to characterize the potential yield of aquifers and their sensitivity to contamination. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Minnesota Biological Survey
Subd. 03c     $2,450,000 TF

Bruce Carlson
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 259-5083
Email:  bruce.carlson@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mbs/index.html

Appropriation Language
$2,450,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for continuation of the Minnesota biological survey to provide a foundation for conserving biological diversity by systematically collecting, interpreting, monitoring, and delivering data on plant and animal distribution and ecology, native plant communities, and functional landscapes.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Minnesota Biological Survey plant and vegetation surveys continued towards statewide coverage, focusing on the last counties in the state for MBS to deliver: St. Louis, Koochiching, Beltrami and Lake of the Woods. Over 1,000 rare and notable terrestrial and aquatic vascular plant species were documented with specimens. Over 200 vegetation plots were placed in representative or rare forests, wetlands and peatlands.

MBS continued towards statewide collection of lake aquatic plant surveys, focusing in central and north-central Minnesota counties and putting the total to 2,025 lakes in 48 counties. This effort provides highly-valued foundational data to broaden DNR efforts to establish indices of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes.

MBS continued to collaborate on monitoring efforts in prairies and forests. Long-term monitoring of rare prairie plant species continued from previous biennia. Prairie vegetation monitoring continued in high-priority prairie sites subject to cattle grazing. Surveys to establish baseline conditions for forest plant and animal monitoring projects were initiated in northern, north-central and southeast Minnesota. All of these monitoring efforts were selected and continued for their relevance to goals and desired outcomes found in Minnesota prairie and forest management and conservation plans.

MBS continued in several west-central counties to target sites in Minnesota Prairie Plan core areas that had not previously been surveyed by MBS. This involves use of LiDAR and high resolution aerial photography not available when MBS first surveyed these counties in the 1980s and 1990s. Over 200 previously undocumented high quality sites were completed.

MBS compiled and entered field survey and monitoring data to MBS databases. MBS information systems improvements were made that enhance data integration and accessibility. MBS continues to provide leadership in the management and use of the DNR’s Native Plant Community database.

MBS provided survey and monitoring results to DNR and other partners and projects. MBS delivered a final manuscript to UMN Press for a new book on Minnesota sedges and rushes and completed major updates and improvements to the DNR Rare Species Guide (http://dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/index.html). MBS outreach included highly popular plant and native plant community field workshops throughout the state targeted at natural resource professionals and volunteers.

MBS Data Summary Table

Data Type # added since July, 2015 Total Since 1987
Rare species records (Biotics) (all taxa) 360 21,838
Rare aquatic plant species records 6 1,251
Lakes with MBS botanical surveys 42 2,025
Counties with MBS lake botanical surveys 2 48
Vegetation plots (relevés) 174 5,540
Sites of Biodiversity Significance GIS polygons* 8 10,732
Native Plant Community GIS polygons* 1,929 84,626
Plant specimens submitted to the University of MN Bell Museum 640 ~50,000 (source: Welby’s estimate, includes Heritage Program submissions too)
Exotic aquatic plant species locations** NA 302
*Numbers reported based on data available on the Minnesota Geospatial Commons
**Encountered incidentally during the course of native aquatic plant surveys


PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

MBS data are stored primarily in the Division of Ecological and Water Resources information systems, which are increasingly linked to other databases in the MN DNR. In addition, MBS procedures, updates, recent maps, and links to related data are presented on the DNR website. Many GIS datasets are delivered to clients through the online data portal, Minnesota Geospatial Commons. MBS regularly provides vegetation plot data from the relevé database to researchers at academic institutions, other agencies and organizations. Data on rare species are available through agreements with the requesting agency and the DNR. For data on locations or rare features, a data request form is available via the web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/nhnrp/nhis.html

MBS publishes and distributes survey results in a variety of formats for various audiences. Many products are available as enterprise datasets on the DNR website, including GIS shape files of native plant communities and MBS sites, native plant community field guides, and guides to sampling techniques such as vegetation plot data collection using the relevé method. MBS web pages are updated with new information and have links to associated resources.http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mbs/index.html

The DNR and Legislative libraries and other local information repositories (such as libraries within counties) have access to published products, including books, maps, reports, field guides and digital media. MBS has published several books and field guides.

Staff routinely make presentations that describe MBS methodologies and results to a wide range of audiences including county boards, local planning groups, citizen advisory groups, other biologists, land managers, and students. MBS staff provide local planners with ecological interpretations describing important sites of biodiversity identified during the Survey to assist with management plans.

Physical collections are deposited at Minnesota repositories, primarily at the University of Minnesota’s J.F. Bell Museum of Natural History and at the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul. As part of a larger network of museums and herbaria, these cooperators are essential to the documentation and sharing of MBS results. MBS and museum staff meet periodically to address curatorial, data management, and interpretive needs.

MBS also delivers data through an international organization, NatureServe, and also shares data with cooperators at colleges and universities.

Project completed: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)


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Minnesota's Biodiversity Atlas for Enhanced Natural Resource Management
Subd. 03d     $340,000 TF

Keith Barker
U of MN - Bell Museum of Natural History
1987 Upper Buford Cir
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624-2737
Email:  barke042@umn.edu
Web: http://www.bellmuseum.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$340,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Bell Museum of Natural History to create a publicly accessible, online tool and repository that will electronically integrate over 600,000 existing biodiversity records, 300,000 existing images, and future data and associated imagery pertaining to Minnesota wildlife, plant, and fungi species in order to enhance research, guide field surveys, and inform conservation planning. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Updating the National Wetland Inventory for Minnesota - Phase V
Subd. 03e     $1,500,000 TF

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

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

Appropriation Language
$1,500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to continue to update and enhance wetland inventory maps for Minnesota. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Creating a Statewide Wetland Bird Monitoring Program
Subd. 03f     $146,000 TF

Kristin Hall
Audubon Minnesota
1 Water St W, Ste 200
St Paul, MN 55107

Phone:  (651) 739-9332 x116
Email:  khall@audubon.org
Web: http://mn.audubon.org/

Appropriation Language
$146,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Audubon Minnesota to develop a statewide wetland bird monitoring program to enable long-term monitoring of the status of wetland birds and the health of their wetland habitats. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Minnesota Native Bee Atlas
Subd. 03g     $790,000 TF

Robert Blair
U of MN
1980 Folwell Ave, #200
St Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (651) 644-1591
Email:  blairrB@umn.edu
Web: http://www.minnesotamasternaturalist.org

Appropriation Language
$790,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to supplement and enhance existing bee survey efforts by engaging citizens in helping to document the distribution and phenology of wild Minnesota bees and integrating data from all related bee survey efforts into a single publicly accessible, online tool and repository. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2019, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2019

Work Plan (PDF)


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Reintroduction and Interpretation of Bison in Minnesota State Parks
Subd. 03h     $600,000 TF

Edward Quinn
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 39
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 259-5594
Email:  edward.quinn@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html

Appropriation Language
$600,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to preserve American bison by reintroducing bison to Minneopa State Park and provide interpretive learning opportunities at Blue Mounds and Minneopa State Parks. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Endangered Bats, White-Nose Syndrome, and Forest Habitat
Subd. 03i     $1,250,000 TF

Richard Baker
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 259-5073
Email:  richard.baker@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nhnrp

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$1,250,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources in cooperation with the University of Minnesota and the United States Forest Service to survey and radio-track endangered bats to define and understand summer forest habitat use in order to minimize forestry impacts and mitigate white-nose syndrome disease impacts. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Assessing Contaminants in Minnesota Loons and Pelicans-Phase III
Subd. 03j     $141,000 TF

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

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

Appropriation Language
$141,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to continue to assess the potential impact of petroleum, dispersants, and heavy metal contaminants from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on the wintering habitat of Minnesota's common loons and white pelicans using radiotelemetry, geolocators, and contaminant analysis.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 exposed Minnesota-origin loons and white pelicans to direct mortality and to cancer-causing pollutants called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate (DOSS). This study used radiotelemetry to study migration patterns of juvenile loons and to determine the extent of PAH and DOSS contaminants in live adult loons, loons found dead, and unhatched loon eggs.

Radiotelemetry efforts showed that juvenile loons migrate to the Gulf of Mexico in their first fall and then migrate to the northern Atlantic region offshore from Canada for their second summer and to the northeastern states and Ontario in their second year. They returned to the Gulf of Mexico each winter. Surviving birds wintered in the Gulf of Mexico where petroleum contaminants had settled offshore from Alabama and Florida. The subadult loons were expected to return to Minnesota for the first time in spring of 2017 but the last transmitter quit working in March of 2017.

A total of 17 of 22 juvenile loons marked with transmitters perished in their first two years and demonstrated that this species experiences high mortality in the first couple years of life.

Contaminant analyses revealed that 18 of 42 blood, feather, and fat samples from loons contained petroleum contaminants. Four of 29 unhatched loon eggs also contained PAH contaminants.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
The telemetry and contaminant data collected in this study have been incorporated with the results of previous research to validate and justify a claim to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for $6 million in remediation funds from the BP settlement to carry out long term restoration efforts for loon and pelican conservation in Minnesota. This would be the first of up to five three-year claims for loon and pelican remediation funds for Minnesota.

Project completed: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)


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Movement and Seasonal Habitat Use of Minnesota Elk
Subd. 03k     $200,000 TF

Gino D'Angelo
MN DNR
35365 800th Ave
Madelia, MN 56062

Phone:  (507) 642-8478
Email:  gino.dangelo@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/wildlife/index.html

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$200,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to collect biological information about Minnesota elk, including movements and habitat use to enable long-term, sustainable management. This appropriation is contingent on a $50,000 match from state or nonstate sources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Genetic and Camera Techniques to Estimate Carnivore Populations
Subd. 03l     $200,000 TF

Ron Moen
U of MN - NRRI
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
Duluth, MN 55811

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

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$200,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota - Duluth for the Natural Resources Research Institute to use genetic sampling and remote cameras to improve monitoring of distributions and estimate population sizes of carnivore species.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2017

Work Plan (PDF)


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Aquatic and Terrestrial Reptile Habitat
Subd. 03m     $250,000 TF

Jennifer McGuire
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105

Phone:  (651) 962-5221
Email:  jtmcguire@stthomas.edu
Web: http://www.stthomas.edu/biology/research/biogeochemistry.html

Appropriation Language
$250,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the University of St. Thomas in cooperation with the Three Rivers Park District to analyze the aquatic and terrestrial habitat for certain reptile species in urban lakes and to make specific recommendations to protect and enhance the habitat. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2019, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2019

Work Plan (PDF)


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Digitization of Historic Gullions Ruffed Grouse Research
Subd. 03n     $75,000 TF

Kent Montgomery
Central Lakes College
501 West College Dr
Brainerd, MN 56401

Phone:  (218) 855-8155
Email:  kmontgomery@clcmn.edu
Web: www.clcmn.edu

Appropriation Language
$75,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Central Lakes College to preserve the Gordon Gullion ruffed grouse data sets as permanent digital data files in order to improve accessibility to the information and inform forest wildlife conservation policies and practices.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Dr. Gordon W. Gullion is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on ruffed grouse. Dr. Gullion began his study of ruffed grouse ecology and habitat management in 1958 at the Cloquet Forestry Center, the Mille Lacs Wildlife Management Area and a privately owned Crow Wing Study Area.

More than 69,000 individual data records from his work exist on hard copy data cards today. These data document ruffed grouse habitat use throughout the year, food habits, reproductive success and mortality factors that provided the very foundation of ruffed grouse (and many other species) habitat and population management throughout much of the Great Lakes region.

Unfortunately, with Dr. Gullion’s sudden death in 1991, and the deterioration of the data cards, this information was at a point where it may have been lost forever – and with it an important chapter in the history of wildlife conservation in Minnesota - without conversion of the data to a more permanent medium. This project set out to transcribe 20,000 of these historic data cards into digital format and to develop of a data retrieval system that enables users to easily and efficiently navigate and retrieve data for specific analytical tasks from this electronic dataset. To assess this, a subset of Dr. Gullion’s uncompleted manuscripts were to be completed using the data retrieval system to test its effectiveness.

Approximately 21,500 records were transcribed and archived in a digital database (MySQL). Data from MySQL files are easily exported into many analysis and spreadsheet programs, including MS Excel that increases accessibility to the data. Two of Dr. Gullion’s manuscripts were reviewed using the archived data to determine the utility of the database. Additional funding provided by the Ruffed Grouse Society will allow digital transcription of the remaining 47,500 data cards. In addition, every data card will also be scanned front and back and a pdf version of each included in the database.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Work will continue under Ruffed Grouse Society funding to continue to modify the digital database for ease of access as new card types and the remaining data cards are included. Upon the completion of transcription and scanning, the original data cards, files cabinets, maps, and any other materials from Dr. Gullion’s collection currently housed at Central Lakes College will be returned to the Cloquet Forestry Center. The Center will also likely be the primary depository of the transcribed data and pdf images. Additional repository sites may include Central Lakes College, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the University of Minnesota. Archived materials in these collections will be available for electronic dissemination to anyone requesting the information.

Project completed: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)


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Effects of Grazing Versus Fire for Prairie Management
Subd. 03o     $414,000 TF

Karen Oberhauser
U of MN
2003 Upper Buford Cir, 135 Skok Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624 8706
Email:  oberh001@umn.edu
Web: http://fwcb.cfans.umn.edu/oberhauser/

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$414,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to compare the effects of conservation grazing and prescribed fire on tallgrass prairie plants and pollinators in Minnesota in order to inform and improve land management practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Assessing Ecological Impact of St. Anthony Falls Lock Closure
Subd. 03p     $125,000 TF

Kathleen Boe
Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership
2522 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Phone:  (612) 465-8780 x212
Email:  kathleen.boe@minneapolisriverfrontpartnership.org
Web: http://www.minneapolisriverfrontpartnership.org

Appropriation Language
$125,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership to study the impact of altered river flow due to closure of the Upper Lock on the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls on the physical and biological characteristics of the river between the Coon Rapids Dam and Lock and Dam No. 1 in order to inform future river restoration efforts.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
On June 10, 2015, the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam was closed to navigation. This closure, and the resulting changes to navigation and dredging, is expected to alter the sediment dynamics of the Mississippi River between Coon Rapids Dam and Ford Dam. This project was undertaken to develop a baseline condition of the Mississippi River using physical, chemical, and biological indicators that can be tracked over time as the river's ecosystem responds to adjustments in management. Lessons learned from this project are expected to help develop a better understanding of the relationships between river management, hydrology, sediment dynamics and river ecology that can be applied to other river management scenarios.

The project team collected bathymetry, water chemistry, sediment, invertebrate, and mussel data to establish the physical, chemical, and biological condition of the river at the time of lock closure. They also sourced existing data from state and local agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), into a common database. The project team then critically evaluated the available physical, chemical, and biological data to identify key indicators of changes in river health.

No single indicator can provide a complete measurement of changes in the river. We suggest that monitoring within each category of data (physical, chemical, and biological) would allow for the most complete assessment of future river changes. In the physical category, bathymetry data would be an effective indicator to assess the impacts of stopping dredging on river habitat. In the chemical category, water quality data are relatively simple to monitor and are part of ongoing programs. In the biological category, mussels are publicly relatable and also integrate physical (habitat) and chemical (total suspended solids) parameters in their responses to the riverine environment.

A final report summarizing the findings entitled Assessing the Ecological Impact of Lock Closure will be submitted to the LCCMR.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Dozens, if not hundreds, of people and organizations are committed to the future of the Minneapolis riverfront. The results of a scientific study conducted at the time of the lock closure, a historic event by nearly any measure, is important for many of the planning and program efforts going forward. Accordingly, the study team took a multifaceted approach to dissemination of project results; these efforts will continue beyond the end of the actual grant period itself.

In-person presentations
Project staff took part in two events dedicated to disseminating the results of the study. Lead scientist Jane Mazack presented preliminary findings at the "Sip of Science" program at the Aster Cafe in Minneapolis. Mazack and DNR scientist Mike Davis were part of a Riverfront Vitality Forum, presented by the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership at the Mill City Museum.

Both presentations began from a foundational understanding that treated the lock closure as the latest in a long series of river manipulations that have taken place on the Minneapolis stretch of the river. The presentations then detailed the study's methodology, key components of what was being sought, and the preliminary results.

Digital/social media
The dissemination of project results through digital social media has been awaiting final development of project results. Project team members from the River Life program manage a blog "River Talk", as well as a digital map, the River Atlas and Twitter and Facebook feeds. We expect the map of project results to be posted to the River Atlas once the Atlas staff member returns from summer leave.

Social media feeds through Twitter and Facebook will likewise be activated through at least December 2016.

The report, as well as significant supplemental material and links to project data, will be posted on the River Life web site as well as the sites of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization.

River Life publishes a quarterly digital publication, Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi River Planning is under way to have Issue 4, published in October 2016, focusing on the results and studies of the project.

Project completed: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)


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Foundational Dataset Characterizing Historic Forest Disturbance Impacts
Subd. 03q     $200,000 TF

Michael Falkowski
U of MN
1530 Cleveland Ave N, 115 Green Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (218) 726-6410
Email:  mfalkows@umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$200,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to quantify forest disturbance impacts over the past forty years on water quality, wildlife demographics, and wood fiber supply in order to identify management strategies that better respond to disturbance impacts and improve and sustain forest resources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Hydrologic Effects of Contemporary Forest Practices in Minnesota
Subd. 03r     $150,000 TF

Diana Karwan
U of MN
1530 Cleveland Ave N
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624-2774
Email:  dlkarwan@umn.edu

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$150,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to install hydrologic monitoring stations to collect water quantity and quality data from lands managed for timber production to better understand the relationship between harvest practices and water resources and related responses to changing climate and other disturbance factors in order to inform forest management practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Goblin Fern: Habitat Mitigation for Species Conservation
Subd. 03s     $61,000 TF

Bobby Henderson
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
115 Sixth St NW
Cass Lake, MN 56633

Phone:  (218) 784-8620
Email:  bobby.henderson@llojibwe.org

Appropriation Language
$61,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to examine goblin fern populations, a threatened species in Minnesota, in relation to habitat degradation and to develop long-term habitat mitigation and species conservation strategies. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


Subd. 04  Water Resources


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Understanding Water Scarcity, Threats, and Values to Improve Management
Subd. 04a     $234,000 TF

Bonnie Keeler
U of MN
1954 Buford Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (651) 353-9294
Email:  keeler@umn.edu
Web: http://z.umn.edu/keeler

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$234,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to model and map statewide water scarcity and abundance; assess water-related risks to industry, municipalities, and ecosystems; and quantify the economic values of changes in water quality and quantity in order to inform long-term water sustainability strategies. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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A Novel Biofilm Technology for Water Nutrient Removal
Subd. 04b     $281,000 TF

Bo Hu
U of MN
1390 Eckles Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 625-4215
Email:  bhu@umn.edu
Web: http://bohu.cfans.umn.edu/

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$281,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop a simulated lichen biofilm system that can be used to remove pollutants and recycle nutrients from storm water runoff and polluted lakes, ponds, and lagoons. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Biological Consequences of Septic Pollution in Minnesota Lakes
Subd. 04c     $364,000 TF

Heiko Schoenfuss
St. Cloud State University
720 Fourth Ave S WSB-273
St Cloud, MN 56301

Phone:  (320) 308-3130
Email:  hschoenfuss@stcloudstate.edu
Web: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/aquatictox/

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$364,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system for St. Cloud State University to assess the presence of possible sources of contaminants of emerging concern in Minnesota lakes in order to determine their effects on fish health, understand the potential contribution from septic systems, and inform options for remediation and prevention to protect Minnesota lakes from these contaminants in the future. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Preventing Phosphorous from Entering Water Resources Through Drain Tiles
Subd. 04d     $505,000 TF

Kenneth Valentas
U of MN
1479 Gortner Ave, 140 Gortner Labs
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (763) 595-0365
Email:  valentas@umn.edu

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$505,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop a new nanocomposite material made from biomass that is designed to adsorb phosphorus, nitrogen, and pesticides from storm water and drain tile runoff discharge for recycling back to agricultural lands. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018 [Extended in M.L. 2016, Chapter 186]

Work Plan (PDF)


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Southeastern Minnesota Cover Crop and Soil Health Initiatives
Subd. 04e     $253,000 TF

Matt Drewitz
Board of Water and Soil Resources
261 Hwy 15 S
New Ulm, MN 56073

Phone:  (507) 359-6076
Email:  matt.drewitz@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$253,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to promote cover crops as a means of protecting soil and water quality in southeastern Minnesota through training and education for local practitioners, economic analysis of implementation, and on-farm demonstration sites. This effort must be coordinated with the University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Southeast Minnesota Subsurface Drainage Impacts on Groundwater Recharge
Subd. 04f     $488,000 TF

Erik Smith
U.S. Geological Survey
2280 Woodale Dr
Mounds View, MN 55112

Phone:  (763) 783-3136
Email:  easmith@usgs.gov
Web: http://mn.water.usgs.gov

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$488,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the United States Geological Survey to assess the relationship between agricultural drainage and water flow within the unique karst geology of southeast Minnesota to characterize the potential impacts of drainage on groundwater recharge and groundwater sustainability in the region. This appropriation is not subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2019, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2019

Work Plan (PDF)


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Using Hydroacoustics to Monitor Sediment in Minnesota Rivers
Subd. 04g     $455,000 TF

Christopher Ellison
U.S. Geological Survey
2280 Woodale Dr
Mounds View, MN 55112

Phone:  (763) 783-3121
Email:  cellison@usgs.gov
Web: http://mn-internal.cr.usgs.gov/mnlocal/index.html

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$455,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the United States Geological Survey to install hydroacoustic equipment on the lower Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers to improve measurement and monitoring accuracy for suspended sediment and enhance ongoing sediment reduction efforts by state, federal, and local agencies. This appropriation is not subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2019, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2019

Work Plan (PDF)


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Assessment of Irrigation Efficiencies in Benton County
Subd. 04h     $431,000 TF

Gerry Maciej
Benton Soil and Water Conservation District
14 Second Ave W
Foley, MN 56329

Phone:  (320) 968-5300 x3
Email:  gerry@soilandwater.org
Web: http://www.soilandwater.org

Appropriation Language
$431,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Benton Soil and Water Conservation District to develop and implement a decision support system to increase irrigation efficiencies and provide outreach on irrigation best management practices. Software developed with this appropriation must be available in the public domain. Project efforts should be coordinated with the Department of Natural Resources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2019, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2019

Work Plan (PDF)


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Shoreview Water Consumption and Groundwater Awareness Project
Subd. 04i     $54,000 TF

Mark Maloney
City of Shoreview
4600 Victoria St N
Shoreview, MN 55126

Phone:  (651) 490-4651
Email:  mmaloney@shoreviewmn.gov
Web: http://shoreviewmn.gov

Appropriation Language
$54,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Shoreview to provide biweekly water consumption data to at least 400 residential households for a two-year period to determine whether additional groundwater can be conserved with greater awareness of consumption data. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


Subd. 05  Environmental Education


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Trap Shooting Sports Facility Grants
Subd. 05a     $132,000 TF

Open
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  Open
Email:  Open
Web: Open

Appropriation Language
$132,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for trap shooting sports facility grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 87A.10.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2017

Work Plan (PDF)


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Connecting Students with Watersheds through Hands-On Learning
Subd. 05b     $400,000 TF

John Lenczewski
Minnesota Trout Unlimited
PO Box 845
Chanhassen, MN 55317

Phone:  (612) 670-1629
Email:  jlenczewski@comcast.net
Web: http://mntu.org/

Appropriation Language
$400,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Minnesota Trout Unlimited to provide hands-on learning focused on water quality, groundwater, aquatic life, and watershed health stewardship. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Zumbro River Watershed Recreational Learning Stewardship Sites
Subd. 05c     $300,000 TF

Lawrence Svien
Zumbro Watershed Partnership
1485 Industrial Dr NW, Rm 102
Rochester, MN 55901

Phone:  (507) 226-6787
Email:  admin@zumbrowatershed.org
Web: http://www.zumbrowatershed.org

Appropriation Language
$300,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Zumbro Watershed Partnership to develop at least six recreational and educational sites on the Zumbro River with water quality demonstration elements and interpretative signage designed to encourage adoption of water protection practices. No more than 15 percent of this appropriation may be spent on site and construction consultation, planning, and design. Any plantings or restoration activities conducted with this appropriation must use native plant species according to the Board of Water and Soil Resources' native vegetation establishment and enhancement guidelines. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Splash Screen: SciGirls Exploring Watersheds Using Mobile Technologies
Subd. 05d     $147,000 TF

Joan Freese
Twin Cities Public Television
172 Fourth St E
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone:  (651) 229-1339
Email:  jfreese@tpt.org
Web: http://www.tpt.org

Appropriation Language
$147,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Twin Cities Public Television to deliver an experiential, project-based educational program using mobile technologies to empower at least 200 middle school students in 4-H programs to engage in understanding and protecting local water resources.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Splash Screen: Students Engaging Local Watersheds Using Mobile Technologies environmental education pilot was designed to foster stewardship of water resources in middle school youth living in urban Minnesota communities. Ran in partnership with urban 4H clubs in the Twin Cities and Duluth, the project combined Place Based Education (project based learning experienced outside the classroom alongside community experts) with Mobile Learning, or education that uses portable technology, to teach about watersheds.

Project goals were for participating youth to:

  • understand the importance of water resources in their community;
  • be able to describe the major features of their local watershed;
  • develop a basic understanding of some ways that humans can help and/or hurt this important resource;
  • become acquainted with storm water runoff and what people can do to prevent it; and
  • experience environmental advocacy first-hand by developing a public information campaign to share with their peers, family, and community, educating them about their watershed.

A total of 20 educators in Duluth and St. Paul were trained in: Splash Screen hands-on curriculum (Project Wet activities); place-based education, including working with community experts; and mobile technology. Bi-monthly webinars were held to provide updates and hear feedback from sites. Additionally, TPT and 4H held in-person meetings for educators prior to implementation for updates and technology distribution.

Two 4-H programs in Duluth and eleven in the Twin Cities implemented the Splash Screen curriculum during the spring and summer of 2016, reaching 107 youth participants with 25 hours of hands on learning per student.

Summative Evaluation of Splash Screen was conducted by the Science Museum of Minnesota's Evaluation and Research in Learning group and measured the overall impact of the project on the educators and youth compared to project outcomes. The evaluation was guided by four questions, three aligned with project outcomes for educators and one aligned with project outcomes for youth. Project evaluation results, which showed that overall the project was more successful at addressing educator outcomes than it was at addressing youth outcomes, will guide TPT and 4H as the project staff plans scale-up of the program for youth. (See Splash Screen Summative Evaluation for an overview of the project evaluation.)

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
On Saturday, October 8, 2016, Twin Cities PBS hosted a Splash Screen event at the station for project participants to share their watershed media project with family, friends, and community members. Youth presented a total of 9 final projects from 5 project sites, sharing their media-rich projects and discussing the importance of urban watersheds health for Minnesota communities.

In addition, SciGirls staff presented at TIES 2016 Education Technology Conference on Monday, December 12, 2017, in downtown Minneapolis. The session, titled Splash Screen: Engaging Local Watersheds Using Mobile Technologies, was attended by approximately 50 teachers, technology integrationists, and other education professionals from the formal education sector.

Here is a description of our offering:
Combine Place Based Education (project based learning experienced outside the classroom alongside community experts) with Mobile Learning to teach about watersheds. You will be given apps and other resources for environmental education, technology integration strategies and lessons learned from the pilot and evaluation done by the Science Museum of Museum. Splash Screen is a pilot project created by Twin Cities PBS in partnership with Urban 4H with funding provide by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, that is designed to foster environmental stewardship of water resources in youth living in urban Minnesota communities.

While our project is now officially closed, TPT and Urban 4H are looking for funding opportunities to provide scale-up of the pilot program.

Project completed: 12/31/2016

FINAL REPORT (PDF)

Splash Screen Summative Evaluation (PDF)


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Mississippi Water Journey Camps
Subd. 05e     $25,000 TF

Beth Mercer-Taylor
U of MN
1954 Buford Ave
325 LES Building
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 624-9430
Email:  bethmt@umn.edu
Web: http://waterjourneycamps.blogspot.com/

Appropriation Language
$25,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to design and pilot two week-long summer camps for youth ages 6 to 11 focused around clean water and the Mississippi River and designed to get children outdoors exploring and engaged with the natural environment and creating educational materials to help their communities protect water quality.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Mississippi River Water Journey Camps get children ages 6-11 outdoors exploring water connections between the built and natural environment, doing wetland plantings, and teaching the public about water systems and how to improve water quality. The grant funded development of a toolkit and first year support for two one-week summer camps: “Water Journey: Drink” and “Water Journey: Rain,” held twice each at the Institute on the Environment, at St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota as part of the University Recreation & Wellness Summer Youth Program. The camps adapt an existing arts/science adventure approach called Earth System Journey that engages youth with the infrastructure connecting daily water use to what happens at the other end of the pipes, in order to make conservation lessons relevant to students’ experience. This reflects environmental education needs for place-based education, bridging actions with impacts, getting kids outdoors, and engaging learners as real-world contributors.

The project goals were achieved. The evaluation report shows increased camper water system knowledge, stewardship attitudes and skills. This impacted 55 campers in summer 2016, with estimated 128-224 more campers reached in the coming four years of camp that the toolkit makes possible. While future camps are funded through camp tuition, support from the Institute on the Environment will continue. The project successfully demonstrated a model for formal and informal educators and increased public awareness of water issues and education methods. Outreach deliverables include a website, video, GIS story maps, summer art/science exhibit, and numerous educator and public presentations including at the 2016 EcoExperience. Inspired by this project, three education grants have been proposed including one in northern Minnesota, with one awarded so far. The model supports emerging approaches for integrated water management and education across public works and natural resource management organizations. Learn more and see all reports at http://waterjourneycamps.blogspot.com.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
A key outcome for Water Journey Camps is continuation of the program without LCCMR grant support in the summer for 2017, when 44 new children participated in four week-long camps that closely followed the model established in 2016. Another 3 years of camps are planned. In 2017, revenues from camp fees paid by each child, along with scholarships for low-income children, offset most of the costs, including staff pay, field trips, transportation and expendable art supplies like papers and beads. The bulk of art, science and photography supplies purchased in 2016, with LCCMR funds, were used again in 2017. The art and science “kit” should serve Water Journey Camps for at least 3 more years. Water Journey Camps is now a well-established and sustainable program that will ultimately reach more than 200 campers over 5 years.

Another outcome of Water Journey Camps is learning gains made by the campers themselves. The Evaluation Report details results of pre and post-camp surveys filled out by the children, with help from counselors for the youngest children. This survey data indicates gains in awareness of how we use water, knowledge of where water comes from and importance of water stewardship. In end-of-camp reflection on their experience, campers indicated more comfort with and interest in STEM projects, as they enjoyed 1) water quality testing and analysis, 2) learning about and planting plants and 3) crafting questions for professionals working in water systems. The art projects and mapping experiences were highlights for many campers. The Youth Program leaders offered informal feedback that parents were pleased with what their children learned. Water Journey Camps were the favorite of several children who enrolled in multiple camps at the University of Minnesota.

A Toolkit is now available on the Water Journey Camps website, aimed at serving teachers and informal educators interested in the approach to learning about water in a particular place or using specific projects. The Toolkit is itself an outcome of the grant. It is flexible enough to allow for replication of the entire overall concept of Water Journey Camps, the use of one or more of the projects in a class period or field trip, or the addition of a new element - such as story maps, photography, planting or tracking pipes – in an existing lesson. The website and materials available have been or will be shared with hundreds of educators through conference presentations and networking sessions as well as web and social media outreach done by IonE. The conferences include the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE) meetings in 2016 and 2017, the Minnesota Educator’s Academy annually in October as well as the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) in Pella, Iowa in late September, 2017, and on a national stage at the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) annual conference in October, 2017. AASHE invited Beth Mercer-Taylor to serve on its first panel on K-12 sustainability summer programs supported by campus sustainability units.

As a key partner, the Institute on the Environment (IonE) gained the unexpected benefit of expansion into new water and K-12 programming as a result of Water Journey Camps. IonE’s provision of significant staff support, no-cost space and a beautiful public gallery space for display of camp maps, art and science projects made more IonE staff and faculty keenly aware of the power of an art, science and storytelling approach to learning about water. The energy of the campers and their learning about water systems inspired the staff and faculty as well as many visitors attending meetings and events at IonE. In the last week of June, 2017, immediately after the camps were completed, over 100 educators saw the Water Journey Camp displays, including nearly 60 attending the Climate Generation Summer Institute at IonE and 45 attending a national workshop on Sustainability & Diversity in Higher Education at IonE. Water Journey Camps contributed to IonE staff and faculty expanding their engagement in water related and K-12 programming, including:

  1. a new stewardship project starting in fall, 2017 at Sarita Conservation Area;
  2. an partnership between IonE and the “Water Bar” where flights of local tap waters are served to students and community partners;
  3. placement of 5 high school interns from the City of St. Paul Right Track program at IonE in summer 2017, including 3 assisting with Water Journey Camps;
  4. hosting the Climate Generation Summer Institute for educators.
Project completed: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)
Mississippi River Water Journey Camps Toolkit Guidance Document (PDF)
Mississippi River Water Journey Camps Evaluation Report (PDF)


Subd. 06  Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species


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Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center
Subd. 06a     $5,000,000 TF

Robert Venette
U of MN
1992 Folwell Ave
St Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 301-1405
Email:  venet001@umn.edu
Web: http://www.mitppc.umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$5,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center established in Laws 2014, chapter 312, article 13, section 44, to conduct research to prevent, minimize, and mitigate the threats and impacts posed by invasive plants, pathogens, and pests to the state's prairies, forests, wetlands, and agricultural resources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2023

Work Plan (PDF)


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Emerald Ash Borer Ecological/Hydrological Impacts - Phase 2
Subd. 06b     $400,000 TF

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

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

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$400,000 the first year 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 black ash forests and quantify potential impacts on native forest vegetation, invasive species spread, and hydrology. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2020, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2020

Work Plan (PDF)


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Biological Control of Canada Thistle
Subd. 06c     $300,000 TF

Roger Becker
U of MN
411 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Upper Buford Cir
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 625-5753
Email:  becke003@umn.edu
Web: http://appliedweeds.cfans.umn.edu/

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$300,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop a biological control for Canada thistle, an invasive plant species in Minnesota. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Preventing a New Disease of Pines in Minnesota
Subd. 06d     $371,000 TF

Robert Blanchette
U of MN
1991 Upper Buford Cir, 495 Borlaug Hall
St. Paul, MN 55126

Phone:  (612) 625-0202
Email:  robertb@umn.edu
Web: http://forestpathology.cfans.umn.edu/default.htm

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$371,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to establish early detection for heterobasidion, an invasive root rot fungus, and develop efforts to prevent its spread and reduce its impact. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


Subd. 07  Air Quality, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy


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Renewable and Sustainable Fertilizers Produced Locally
Subd. 07a     $1,000,000 TF

Alon McCormick
U of MN
151 Amundson Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone:  (612) 625-1822
Email:  mccormic@umn.edu
Web: http://www.cems.umn.edu

RESEARCH

Appropriation Language
$1,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Morris West Central Research and Outreach Center and Twin Cities Campus to develop and demonstrate new technologies aimed at enabling renewable and sustainable production of ammonia for fertilizer in a localized manner. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Reducing Emissions from Open Burning through Biomass Gasification
Subd. 07b     $268,000 TF

William Northrop
U of MN
111 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone:  (612) 625 6854
Email:  wnorthro@umn.edu
Web: http://www.me.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$268,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources to characterize and promote distributed biomass gasification of wood waste as a means for producing renewable and sustainable energy in rural areas through a demonstration at the Department of Natural Resources regional office facility in New Ulm.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Minnesota forests produce 2.4 million tons of wood waste per year, a significant portion of which is burned in open piles or in large-scale gasification facilities to generate heat and power. However, open burning wastes energy and emits harmful pollutants while large-scale power generation facilities rely on transporting fuel long distances. This project demonstrated that a small-scale distributed gasifier-generator system could produce heat and power for remote rural areas while reducing harmful pollution. In laboratory tests conducted at the University of Minnesota, the research team found that small-scale gasification emitted fewer pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx), soot, and carbon monoxide per amount of wood consumed than open burning and comparable emissions to large-scale wood energy operations. Further, due to clean engine combustion and production of biochar, small-scale gasification was found to achieve the lowest lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to open burning, large-scale gasification and wood decomposition.

In the second phase of the project, the gasifier generator system was packaged into a weatherproof container and installed at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Southern Regional Office in New Ulm, MN. There it supplemented the facility’s installed photovoltaic solar array on winter mornings, offsetting 10-15 kW of utility purchased power used to operate geothermal heat pumps. The system’s performance at DNR supports small-scale gasification’s potential for use in remote applications like state park facilities. Although promising when operational, excessive DNR staff time was required to regularly start and maintain the system, and prepare dry fuel. Other operational deficiencies included internal clogging and equipment failures. To be viable for further deployment, additional development work must be done to realize a more reliable and automated system. Ultimately, this project proved that small-scale distributed biomass gasification, if improved, could be an environmentally and economically favorable alternative to open burning and large-scale gasification.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
To disseminate the results of the gasifier-generator emissions analysis, a graduate thesis explaining all elements of the project was completed. In addition, a paper emphasizing the applications and merits of distributed small-scale gasification using waste biomass was submitted to the journal Biomass and Bioenergy. Several tours were held at the DNR facility to showcase the gasifier offsetting the facility’s electricity costs and to discuss the benefits and challenges of biomass gasification technology. Finally, power output data from the gasifier operating during winter months was published to the DNR’s Energy Smart website http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/energysmart/.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)


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Building Deconstruction to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Solid Waste
Subd. 07c     $1,000,000 TF

Part 1 - $845,000
Steve Thomas
The NetWork for Better Futures d/b/a Better Futures Minnesota
1017 Olson Memorial Hwy
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Phone:  (612) 455-6133
Email:  sthomas@betterfutures.net
Web: http://www.betterfuturesminnesota.com

Part 2 - $155,000
Victor Krause
U of MN - Duluth NRRI
5013 Miller Trunk Highway
Duluth, MN 55811

Phone:  (218) 720-4369
Email:  vkrause@d.umn.edu
Web: http://www.nrri.umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$845,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Better Futures Minnesota in cooperation with the Northwest Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center and $155,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota - Duluth for the Natural Resources Research Institute to develop and test a model for implementing building deconstruction and material reuse as a competitive alternative to demolition for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing landfill waste, and providing job training. The project report must quantify and document greenhouse gas emissions reductions resulting from specific deconstruction techniques and materials reuses.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2017

Work Plan - Part 1 (PDF)

Work Plan - Part 2 (PDF)


Subd. 08  Methods to Protect, Restore, and Enhance Land, Water, and Habitat


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Prioritizing Future Management of North Shore Trout Streams
Subd. 08a     $416,000 TF

Lucinda Johnson
U of MN - NRRI
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
Duluth, MN 55811

Phone:  (218) 720-4251
Email:  ljohnson@nrri.umn.edu
Web: http://www.nrri.umn.edu/staff/ljohnson.asp

Appropriation Language
$357,000 the first year is from the trust fund and $59,000 the first year is from the Great Lakes protection account to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota - Duluth for the Natural Resources Research Institute to identify key areas in North Shore streams that supply the cold groundwater essential to sustaining trout fisheries, in order to focus habitat restoration, protection, and management efforts on the areas that are most essential for long-term stream health and sustainability. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Propagating Native Plants and Restoring Diverse Habitats
Subd. 08b     $495,000 TF

Rich Perrine
Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District
923 N State St, Ste 110
Fairmont, MN 56031

Phone:  (507) 235-6680
Email:  richard.perrine@mn.nacdnet.net
Web: http://www.martinswcd.net

Appropriation Language
$495,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District for a cooperative 13-county effort by Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Faribault, Freeborn, Jackson, Lake, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Waseca, and Watonwan Counties to protect and expand native forest and prairie habitat for species in greatest conservation need in four regions of the state through collection and propagation of local ecotype native plants, habitat restoration efforts, and educational outreach. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2020, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2020

Work Plan (PDF)


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Preserving and Protecting Minnesota Native Orchid Species
Subd. 08c     $167,000 TF

David Remucal
U of MN - Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Dr
Chaska, MN 55318

Phone:  (952) 443-1418
Email:  lnitabac@umn.edu
Web: http://www.arboretum.umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$167,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for propagation and cultivation research to enable long-term conservation of at least 15 selected species of the 48 native orchid species in Minnesota. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Acceleration of Minnesota Conservation Assistance - Final Phase
Subd. 08d     $1,000,000 TF

Tabor Hoek
Board of Water and Soil Resources
520 Lafayette Rd N
St Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (507) 537-7260
Email:  tabor.hoek@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$1,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for the final phase of a pilot program to provide grants to soil and water conservation districts and other units of local and state government for employment of staff to provide technical assistance to secure enrollment and retention of private lands in federal and state conservation programs. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Metro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Prairie, Forest, and Savanna Restoration
Subd. 08e     $276,000 TF

Tom Lewanski
Friends of the Mississippi River
360 N Robert St, Ste 400
St Paul, MN 55101

Phone:  (651) 222-2193 x1
Email:  tlewanski@fmr.org
Web: http://www.fmr.org

Appropriation Language
$276,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Friends of the Mississippi River for Phase VIII of the Metro Conservation Corridors partnership to conduct restoration activities on at least 195 acres of forest and savanna and at least 60 acres of prairie to preserve and increase wildlife habitat in the metropolitan area, as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2, and portions of the surrounding counties. Expenditures are limited to the identified project corridor areas as defined in the work plan. A list of proposed restorations must be provided as part of the required work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Metro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Enhancing Restoration Techniques for Improved Climate Resilience and Pollinator Conservation
Subd. 08f     $400,000 TF

Wiley Buck
Great River Greening
35 W Water St, Ste 201
St Paul, MN 55107

Phone:  (651) 665-9500
Email:  wbuck@greatrivergreening.org
Web: http://www.greatrivergreening.org

Appropriation Language
$400,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Great River Greening for Phase VIII of the Metro Conservation Corridors partnership to pilot and evaluate innovative restoration techniques aimed at improving the resilience of bur oak communities to changing climate conditions and enhancing prairie management to benefit pollinators with the help and engagement of citizen volunteers. Expenditures on restoration efforts are limited to the identified project corridor areas as defined in the work plan. A list of proposed restorations must be provided as part of the required work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which point the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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MSU Moorhead Science Center Restoration & Monitoring
Subd. 08g     $527,000 TF

Brian Wisenden
Moorhead State University
1104 Seventh Ave S
Moorhead, MN 56563

Phone:  (701) 212-5801
Email:  wisenden@mnstate.edu
Web: http://web.mnstate.edu/wisenden

Appropriation Language
$527,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system for Minnesota State University Moorhead in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources to restore and monitor 160 acres of prairie and riparian habitat and develop and disseminate monitoring protocols. This appropriation is contingent upon the donation of a 60-acre parcel to Minnesota State University Moorhead from the Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation and is available until June 30, 2020, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2020

Work Plan (PDF)


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Improving Community Forests Through Citizen Engagement
Subd. 08h     $800,000 TF

Ken Holman
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd N
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 259-5269
Email:  ken.holman@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$800,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to design and pilot a program, including grants to communities, to mobilize citizen volunteers to protect, improve, and maintain local forests in communities around the state. Participation is open to any municipality in the state and participating municipalities will be selected through a competitive proposal process that will include representation from both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of the state. Trees planted using this appropriation must be species that are native to Minnesota. A participating municipality must provide a match of not less than 25 percent, up to half of which may be in the form of in-kind support. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Flood Recovery on Sargent Creek Duluth Habitat Restoration
Subd. 08i     $300,000 TF

Christopher Kleist
City of Duluth
411 First St W, Room 211
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone:  (218) 355-0598
Email:  ckleist@duluthmn.gov
Web: http://www.duluthmn.gov

Appropriation Language
$300,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Duluth to re-establish stable and natural streambanks with riparian and aquatic habitat restoration on at least 5,400 linear feet of Sargent Creek in Duluth destroyed during the flood of 2012.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2017

Work Plan (PDF)


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Shoreland Protection for the Lower St. Croix River
Subd. 08j     $190,000 TF

Deb Ryun
St. Croix River Association
119 N Washington St
St Croix Falls, MN 54024

Phone:  (715) 483-3300
Email:  debryun@scramail.com
Web: http://stcroixriverassociation.org/

Appropriation Language
$190,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the St. Croix River Association to provide technical assistance to landowners, local governments, realtors, and developers on shoreland conservation and protection of the lower St. Croix River. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Redwood and Renville Counties Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Master Plan
Subd. 08k     $75,000 TF

Scott Refsland
Redwood County and Renville County
105 Fifth St S, Ste 311
Olivia, MN 56277

Phone:  (320) 523-3664
Email:  scottr@renvillecountymn.com
Web: http://www.renvillecountymn.com/

Appropriation Language
$75,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Renville County in cooperation with Redwood County to develop a joint outdoor recreation and conservation master plan to guide future development and protect cultural, historical, and natural resources in the Minnesota River Valley.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
The development of a Minnesota River Valley Recreation and Conservation Master Plan is complete and all deliverables in the contract with the consultant have been delivered. The development of this plan has resulted in a solid direction to advance the interests of improving the recreation and conservation opportunities in the valley. Once adopted by the Counties, this plan provides a prioritized list of action items to begin immediate implementation. This will hopefully result in an increased use and respect for the incredible resource that is shared by Renville and Redwood Counties.

The Master Planning process resulted in a large collection of public opinion from both local residents as well as those outside of the area. Our public meetings had many local residents and averaged an attendance of around 35 people per meeting. Our online survey collected 382 usable surveys from 42 different counties in Minnesota. The data collected from the public was necessary to create this plan, but will also provide many benefits for other efforts in the area for years to come.

The Master Plan is a catalyst for future conversation about how to invest in the Valley for ways to increase the value and benefits of valley resources for those who live in or visit the area. The shared vision in this plan creates a picture of what the Valley can become in the future.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
All outcomes have been completed with some amendments being made to Outcome 6. Throughout the course of this project it became clear that providing detailed cost estimates was overly ambitious and beyond the scope of this project. Strategies for prioritizing land use decisions and long term funding opportunities and project management were completed. We held one more public meeting than stated with an additional meeting to present the final plan to the public. Final Master Plan was printed and sent to the counties in June 2017 along with digital copies of all files created by consultant throughout this project.

The final master plan is available on both counties websites along with the project page website (http://www.mnrivervalleymasterplan.org/home). The final plan will now go before both County boards for approval and to begin implementation.

Project completed: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)
Minnesota River Valley Recreation and Conservation Master Plan (PDF)


Subd. 09  Land Acquisition for Habitat and Recreation


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State Parks and State Trails Land Acquisitions
Subd. 09a     $1,500,000 TF

Jennifer Christie
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 259-5579
Email:  jennifer.christie@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.mndnr.gov

Appropriation Language
$1,500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire at least 335 acres for authorized state trails and critical parcels within the statutory boundaries of state parks. State park 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 plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund funding resulted in the Department of Natural Resources acquiring approximately 358 acres of land within the statutory boundaries of four Minnesota State Parks.

  • Acquired 147 acres in Minneopa State Park comprises and protects rare and endangered species such as the American bald eagle, western foxsnake, shovel sturgeon and small white ladyslipper are documented in this Minnesota River corridor.
  • Acquired 100 acres in St. Croix State Park. This acquisition provides needed access to the north end of the State Park. It will preserve unique and valuable wildlife habitat, and a trout stream on the property.
  • Acquired 109 acres in Myre-Big Island State Park to preserve many wetlands and a small oak grove. The land also contains a large restored prairie planed with local genotype seed.
  • Partially funded approximately 2 acres of land in Crow Wing State Park. This property provides protection of the Crow Wing River shoreline at the confluence of the Mississippi River.
PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

These project results and dissemination have been communicated through updated state park and state trail maps reflecting state managed land instead of private in-holdings, and are identified as public land open to be used and enjoyed by all visitors.

Signage at the above listed locations lists ENRTF as a funding source for these State Parks.

Project completed: 12/30/2016

FINAL REPORT (PDF)


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Metropolitan Regional Park System Land Acquisition Phase 4
Subd. 09b     $1,000,000 TF

Deb Streets Jensen
Metropolitan Council
390 N Robert St
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone:  (651) 602-1554
Email:  deb.jensen@metc.state.mn.us
Web: http://www.metrocouncil.org/Parks.aspx

Appropriation Language
$1,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Metropolitan Council for grants to acquire at least 133 acres of lands within the approved park unit boundaries of the metropolitan regional park system. This appropriation may not be used to purchase habitable residential structures. A list of proposed fee title and easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. This appropriation must be matched by at least 40 percent of nonstate money that must be committed by December 31, 2015, or the appropriation cancels. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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SNA Acquisition, Restoration, Enhancement and Public Engagement
Subd. 09c     $4,000,000 TF

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

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

Appropriation Language
$4,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire at least 350 acres of 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 and improve at least 550 acres of scientific and natural areas, and provide technical assistance and outreach. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. 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, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Native Prairie Stewardship and Prairie Bank Easement Acquisition
Subd. 09d     $3,325,000 TF

Judy Schulte
MN DNR
1241 East Bridge Street
Redwood Falls, MN 56283

Phone:  (507) 822-0344
Email:  judy.schulte @state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$3,325,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire native prairie bank easements on at least 675 acres, prepare baseline property assessments, restore and enhance at least 1,000 acres of native prairie sites, and provide technical assistance to landowners. Of this amount, up to $135,000 must be deposited in a conservation easement stewardship account. Deposits into the conservation easement stewardship account must be made upon closing on conservation easements or at a time otherwise approved in the work plan. A list of proposed easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Metro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Coordination and Mapping and Conservation Easements
Subd. 09e     $515,000 TF

Kris Larson
Minnesota Land Trust
2345 University Ave W, Ste 400
St. Paul, MN 55114

Phone:  (651) 647-9590
Email:  klarson@mnland.org
Web: http://www.mnland.org

Appropriation Language
$515,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Minnesota Land Trust for Phase VIII of the Metro Conservation Corridors partnership to provide coordination and mapping for the partnership and to acquire permanent conservation easements on at least 120 acres of strategic ecological landscapes to protect priority natural areas in the metropolitan area, as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2, and portions of the surrounding counties. A list of proposed easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. 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 plan. Up to $40,000 may be used for coordination and mapping for the Metro Conservation Corridors. All conservation easements must be perpetual and have a natural resource management plan. A list of proposed easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. This appropriation is available June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Metro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Strategic Lands Protection
Subd. 09f     $750,000 TF

Robert McGillivray
The Trust for Public Land
2610 University Ave W, Ste 300
St. Paul, MN 55114

Phone:  (651) 999-5307
Email:  Bob.McGillivray@tpl.org
Web: http://www.tpl.org

Appropriation Language
$750,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Trust for Public Land for Phase VIII of the Metro Conservation Corridors partnership to acquire in fee at least 35 acres of high-quality priority state and local natural areas in the metropolitan area, as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2, and portions of the surrounding counties. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. 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 plan. This appropriation may not be used to purchase habitable residential structures, unless expressly approved in the work plan. A list of fee title acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Metro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Priority Expansion of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Subd. 09g     $500,000 TF

Deborah Loon
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust Inc
2312 Seabury Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Phone:  (612) 801-1935
Email:  dloon@mnvalleytrust.org
Web: http://www.mnvalleytrust.org

Appropriation Language
$500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc. for Phase VIII of the Metro Conservation Corridors partnership to acquire in fee at least 100 acres of priority habitat for the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in the metropolitan area, as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2, and portions of the surrounding counties. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum management standards. Expenditures are limited to the identified project corridor areas as defined in the work plan. This appropriation may not be used to purchase habitable residential structures, unless expressly approved in the work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Metro Conservation Corridors Phase VIII - Wildlife Management Area Acquisition
Subd. 09h     $400,000 TF

Patrick Rivers
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 259-5209
Email:  pat.rivers@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html

Appropriation Language
$400,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for Phase VIII of the Metro Conservation Corridors partnership to acquire in fee at least 82 acres along the lower reaches of the Vermillion River in Dakota County within the Gores Pool Wildlife Management Area. Land acquired with this appropriation must be sufficiently improved to meet at least minimum management standards. This appropriation may not be used to purchase habitable residential structures, unless expressly approved in the work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
The DNR, in partnership with Dakota County, acquired 169.59 acres of high quality habitat along the lower reaches of the Vermillion River on April 27, 2016. The acquisition consists of several disjoint parcels that are inholdings within the Gores Pool Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Vermillion River Complex. This was a high-priority acquisition for the Department of Natural Resources as the area is classified as an Outstanding Regionally Significant Ecological Area for documented colonial waterbird nesting and red shouldered hawks. The property includes more than one mile of river shoreline, high value wetlands and floodplain forest (red oak- sugar maple- basswood forest; silver maple floodplain forest) important for waterfowl, beaver and mink, whitetail deer and numerous other species including non-game species of special concern. Bald eagles and common snapping turtles are present; lake sturgeon and blue sucker occur in Mississippi River Pool 3 nearby. The acquisition reduced the WMA boundary by approximately one mile and resolves potential for boundary dispute.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
This parcel will soon be designated as part of the statewide WMA system (anticipated in August, 2016). This process involves publishing a designation order in the State Registrar, and a news release announcing this and other recently acquired WMA lands. The news release will mention the use of Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund for the acquisition.

Project dcompleted: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)


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Mesabi Trail Development Soudan to Ely - Phase II
Subd. 09i     $1,000,000 TF

Bob Manzoline
St. Louis and Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority
111 Station Rd
Eveleth, MN 55734

Phone:  (218) 744-2653
Email:  bmanzoline@rrauth.com
Appropriation Language
$1,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the St. Louis and Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority for the right-of-way acquisition, design, and construction of segments of the Mesabi Trail, totaling approximately seven miles between Soudan and Ely. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Multi-benefit Watershed Scale Conservation on North Central Lakes
Subd. 09j     $950,000 TF

Lindsey Ketchel
Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation
PO Box 455
Hackensack, MN 56452

Phone:  (218) 675-5773
Email:  llawf@tds.net
Web: http://www.leechlakewatershed.org

and

Dan Steward
Board of Water and soil Resources
1601 Minnesota Drive
Brainerd MN 56401

Phone:  (218) 828-2598
Email:  dan.steward@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$950,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to secure permanent conservation easements on at least 480 acres of high-quality habitat in Crow Wing and Cass Counties. Of this amount, up to $65,000 must be deposited in a conservation easement stewardship account; and $54,000 is for an agreement with the Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation in cooperation with Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District and Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District. Deposits into the conservation easement stewardship account must be made upon closing on conservation easements or at a time otherwise approved in the work plan. A list of proposed easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


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Conservation Easement Assessment and Valuation System Development
Subd. 09k     $250,000 TF

Bonnie Keeler
U of MN
1954 Buford Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (612) 626-2120
Email:  keel0041@umn.edu
Web: http://www.environment.umn.edu/contact-us/directory/bonnie-keeler/

Appropriation Language
$250,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to assess the effectiveness of existing conservation easements acquired through state expenditures at achieving their intended outcomes of public value and ecological benefits and to develop a standardized, objective conservation easement valuation system for guiding future state investments in conservation easements to ensure the proposed environmental benefits are being achieved in a cost-effective manner. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2018

Work Plan (PDF)


Subd. 10  Emerging Issues Account


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Emerging Issues Account
Subd. 10     $1,000,000 TF

Susan Thornton
Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Rm 65
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-6264
Email:  susan.thornton@lccmr.leg.mn
Web: https://www.lccmr.leg.mn

Appropriation Language
$1,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to an emerging issues account authorized in Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.08, subdivision 4, paragraph (d).

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2017

Work Plan


Subd. 11  Administration and Contract Agreement Reimbursement


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Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR)
Subd. 11a     $1,072,000 TF

Susan Thornton
Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Rm 65
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-6264
Email:  susan.thornton@lccmr.leg.mn
Web: https://www.lccmr.leg.mn

Appropriation Language
$1,072,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources for administration in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.09, subdivision 5.

Project due to be completed: 6/30/2017

Work Plan


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Contract Agreement Reimbursement
Subd. 11b     $135,000 TF

Katherine Sherman-Hoehn
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 10
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 259-5543
Email:  Katherine.sherman-hoehn@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$135,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources at the direction of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources for expenses incurred for contract agreement reimbursement for the agreements specified in this section. The commissioner shall provide documentation to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources on the expenditure of these funds.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
This appropriation was used to support the ENRTF contract management program, which ensured that ENRTF grantees expended grant funds in compliance with state law, session law, approved work plans, and Office of Grants Management grants policies.

The DNR Grants Unit managed 59 grants active in FY 2016. In FY 2017, the Grants Unit managed 67 active grants.

Between 7/1/2015 when the services began and 06/30/2017 when they ended, the DNR Grants Unit:

  • Made 270 reimbursements to grantees totaling $6,186,311.59
  • Prepared and executed 21 ML 2016 grant agreements
  • Published 6 editions of the quarterly newsletter for all grantees
  • Billed 976 hours at the FY 2016 professional services rate of $59.00/hr
  • Billed 1,245 hours at the FY 2017 professional services rate of $62.00/hr
  • Monitored all grants in compliance with Office of Grants Management policies.
PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

Project personnel were in frequent contact with appropriation recipients and LCCMR staff. Information was disseminated through manuals, training sessions, orientations, meetings, memos, letters, emails, newsletter, and phone.

Project completed: 6/30/2017

FINAL REPORT (PDF)


100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Room 65 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155