Accelerated Prairie Grassland Wildlife Management Area Acquisition
This program protected 810 acres of new wildlife habitat in the Prairie, Deciduous Transition, and Southeast Bluffland ecological sections of Minnesota through fee title acquisition. Title of lands acquired are held by the State and are designated as WMAs.
About the Issue
Minnesota has lost 99% of the original prairie landscape resulting in drastic declines in grassland dependent wildlife. Examples of species in greatest conservation need in the prairie include American Badger, Grasshopper Sparrow, Northern Pintail, Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. Prairie grasslands support populations of upland game birds such as pheasants, prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse and a variety of dabbling ducks when associated with prairie wetland complexes. These game populations drive local and statewide hunting recreation and economy. The DNR acquired lands in the prairie, transition moraine, and bluffland ecological sections and has or will restore the grassland complexes by planting native prairie. DNR prioritized acquisitions at sites where there is an existing habitat base in prairie grassland complexes to address habitat fragmentation and to maximize habitat benefits. Collaborative partnerships were promoted in order to acquire key lands. DNR received resolution from the County Board of Commissioners approving all WMA acquisitions .