Northeastern Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Habitat

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Minnesota Sharp-tailed Grouse Society
Recipient Type: 
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date: 
July 2010
End Date: 
June 2015
Activity Type: 
Land Acquisition, Restoration/Enhancement
Counties Affected: 
Aitkin, Kanabec
Project Details:
2011 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
ML 2010, Ch. 361, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 3(e)
Appropriation Language 

$1,559,000 in fiscal year 2011 is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever to acquire interests in land, and to restore and enhance habitat for sharp-tailed grouse in Kanabec, Aitkin, and St. Louis Counties in cooperation with the Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society. A list of proposed acquisitions and a list of proposed restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan. The commissioner of natural resources must agree in writing to each acquisition of interest in land, restoration project, and enhancement project. All restorations must comply with subdivision 9, paragraph (b).

Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
Other Funds Leveraged: 
Direct expenses: 
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
not reported
Measurable Outcome(s) 

1285 acres

Source of Additional Funds: 

MSGS, PF chapters, MWA - Hill River, RGS - State, MDHA, CLC Natural Resource Club

Project Overview

Pheasants Forever, in cooperation with partners acquired and restored one parcel totaling 1,284.6 acres and enrolled the parcel into the MNDNR WMA system.

Project Details

Accomplishment Plan

Working with numerous partners, Pheasants Forever acquired a strategic 1,284.6 acre parcel of land from a willing seller in Kanabec County. This land has been enrolled into the state Wildlife Management Area (WMA) System and will be protected and managed in perpetuity by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In addition, the newly acquired WMA will provide public access and recreational opportunities for ALL Minnesotans, so fundamentally important to our outdoor heritage.

The offer to the landowner was based on appraised value and seemed to be competitive with the market at the time. This parcel addressed the loss, degradation and fragmentation of open and brushland habitat within northeastern Minnesota due to natural succession and conversion to other land uses. It has lead to a long term decline in the sharp-tailed grouse population and populations of several other wildlife species that use or depend upon these habitats, causing their listing as species in the greatest conservation need. The parcel was identified in conjunction with DNR wildlife professionals and based on criteria in addition to minimum WMA standards that included: habitat restoration potential, landscape scale significance, presence of significant natural communities, future expansion potential, and multiple benefit analysis.

In total, $1,536,536.52 of Outdoor Heritage Funds were matched with $51,435 of non-state funding to complete this work.

Project Manager

PF / MN Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society
410 Lincoln Ave S (Box 91)
South Haven