On November 4, 2008, Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the constitution to: protect drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve arts and cultural heritage; to support parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.
BWSR has received appropriations from two of the four funds that were created by the amendment: The Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF) and the Clean Water Fund.
BWSR appropriations from the Outdoor Heritage Fund
Fiscal Year 2011
BWSR received $6.895 Million from the OHF, as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC), for the Reinvest In Minnesota Reserve-Wetlands Reserve Program (RIM-WRP) Partnership.
BWSR and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced in a July 15, 2010 news release that 7,504 acres of wetlands and grasslands will be restored through RIM-WRP. A total of $8.37 million in state RIM Reserve funds -- including $6.895 million from the Outdoor Heritage Fund -- made it possible to leverage $13.75 million in federal WRP dollars.
- 2011 RIM-WRP Legislative Fact Sheet (January 2011)
- LSOHC Accomplishment Plan for the RIM-WRP appropriation (May 17, 2010)
- BWSR conservation easement fact sheet
Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program
BWSR’s partnership with the Army National Guard, the Minnesota DNR, and local soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) has led to easements being acquired on privately owned lands surrounding the Camp Ripley installation in Little Falls. BWSR provides easement acquisition services on a fee-for-service basis to the Army National Guard for its Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program. Participating landowners voluntarily enroll in an easement and agree to keep the land in a natural state or in agricultural production, but not to subdivide it or convert it to other commercial or residential uses. The project insures that development in nearby Fort Ripley does not encroach on key areas near Camp Ripley.
BWSR received $618,000 from the OHF, as recommended by the LSOHC, for ACUB easments on privately owned lands near Camp Ripley. The easements are adjacent to the Little Nokasippi River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Crow Wing County.
Fiscal Year 2010
BWSR Received $9.058 Million from the OHF, as recommended by the LSOHC, plus $6.9 Million in state bonding dollars ($16 Million total state dollars), which:
- Leveraged $25.0 Million in USDA dollars for a total of $41.0 Million
- 13,060 acres restored (1:2 ratio of wetlands acres and adjacent grassland buffer acres) on 125 easements
The RIM-WRP Partnership supports the following LSOHC Priorities:
Grant Purpose and Grant Criteria:
- Protect: action to maintain the ability of habitat and related natural systems to sustain fish, game or wildlife through acquisition of fee title or conservation easements.
- Restore: action to bring a habitat back to a former state of sustaining fish, game or wildlife, with an ultimate goal of restoring habitat to a desired conservation condition.
Priority Actions for the Forest/Prairie Transition Section:
Protect, enhance and restore wild rice wetlands, shallow lakes, wetland/grassland complexes, and shoreland that provide critical habitat for game and non-game wildlife.
Priority Actions for the Prairie Section:
- Protect wetland/upland complexes, or convert agricultural lands to wetland/upland to enhance or restore existing habitat complexes.
- Protect, enhance and restore remnant native prairie, Big Woods forests and oak savanna.
- Protect, restore and enhance shallow lakes