posted on May 18, 2009 22:03
Habitat Conservation Partnership report outlines progress for fish & wildlife habitat
Saint Paul, Minn. - June 17 -
Minnesota's Habitat Conservation Partnership announces the completion of 21,381 acres of habitat improvements during the third phase of funding. Funds for these projects were provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Trust Fund dollars originate through the Minnesota State Lottery.
Those 21,381 acres of projects included; 6,243 acres of grassland restorations, 1,382 acres of wetland restorations, 3,433 of wetland enhancements, and 513 acres of woodland restorations. In addition, the Partnership worked with willing sellers to acquire 1,176.5 acres in fee-title and 5,483.9 acres in perpetual conservation easements.
Since inception in 2001, the Partnership has completed 126,899 acres of habitat improvements through 855 different projects across the state. In fact, total expenditures through the partnership in that time have exceeded $102 million with $21.8 million originating from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The remaining $80.2 million has come from the project partners matching those Trust Fund contributions.
"In the habitat conservation community, nothing gets done alone," explained Matt Holland, project coordinator for the Partnership and senior field coordinator for Pheasants Forever. "Minnesota's Habitat Conservation Partnership is a shining example of conservation groups and state government working together to make dollars go farther and deeper for the benefit of all Minnesotans and the wildlife we all love."
"Whether the partnership is doing prescribed fire on a prairie, plugging a ditch to restore a wetland, or protecting lakeshores, habitat projects are hitting the ground as a result of this effort," said Ryan Heiniger, Ducks Unlimited, director of conservation programs for Minnesota. "In addition, the partnership has collectively worked to leverage federal programs and brought additional funding to invest in Minnesota's habitat and resource needs."
The partnership was formed and funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and participating partners. The Partnership provides for a statewide coordination of existing federal, state and private land and water conservation programs. The project targets these programs and resources on identified project focus areas that have high potential for restoring and enhancing functional habitats benefiting Minnesota.
Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) The ENRTF is a permanent fund in the Minnesota state treasury dedicated to funding activities that protect and enhance the state's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. The ENRTF was created in 1988 by voter approval of an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. Money in the ENRTF originates from a combination of contributions and investment income. Forty percent of the net proceeds, or approximately seven cents of every dollar spent on playing the lottery, goes into the ENRTF, which is then managed and invested for continued growth by the State Board of Investment. Up to 5.5% of the market value of the ENRTF is available for expenditure on projects each year. The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) makes annual project funding recommendations to the Minnesota legislature based on a competitive, multi-step proposal and selection process. For more information or for a list of LCCMR commission members go to www.lccmr.leg.mn or contact the LCCMR office at (651)296-2406.
Minnesota Habitat Conservation Partnership The mission of Minnesota's Habitat Conservation Partnership is to restore, enhance, and conserve habitat for the purpose of sustaining fish, wildlife and native plant communities for all generations. Member Organizations include: Ducks Unlimited * Fond du Lac Reservation * Friends of the Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe * Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources * Minnesota Deer Hunters Association * Minnesota Department of Natural Resources * Minnesota Land Trust * Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund * Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc. * National Wild Turkey Federation * Pheasants Forever * Red Lake Band of Chippewa * The Nature Conservancy * Trust for Public Land * U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service * U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service
Minnesota State Lottery To learn how the Minnesota Lottery distributes funds go to: http://www.mnlottery.com/moneygo.html.
For more information and photos contact Matt Holland at (320)354-4377 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.mnhabitatcorridors.org.
Anthony Hauck (651)209-4972 AHauck@pheasantsforever.org