Scientific and Natural Areas and Native Prairie Restoration, Enhancement & Acquisition
Sites of biodiversity significance will be permanently protected, their quality improved, and landowner and public support for their conservation increased by implementation of a suite of tools through the DNR Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) Program.
Eighty acres of high quality native prairie and other native plant communities of state significance will be acquired in fee as state Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) or as a Native Prairie Bank (NPB) conservation easement. Sites are Minnesota County Biological Survey priorities because they contain rare and endangered species, undisturbed plant communities, and key habitats for Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Conservation easement monitoring will be initiated on new NPB sites and on 13 NPBs previously acquired through Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) funding.
Native habitat improvements (restoration, prescribed burning, and invasives treatment) will be implemented on about 3200 acres of SNAs, NPBs, and high priority private prairie lands that are threatened or degraded by human impacts, invasives, and/or lack of natural disturbance regimes. Interpretive signs-kiosks will be installed at about 4 SNAs and development work (signs, fences, site cleanup, etc.) completed at about 5 sites. Adaptive management plans will be completed for 9 sites. Habitat management at about 18 sites will be ecologically monitored to continuously improve methods.
Conservation by private landowners of native prairie will be achieved through prairie management consultation to at least 40 private landowners, delivery of 30 prairie stewardship plans, co-hosting 6 workshops/field days, distributing new education materials, and enrolling or certifying about 90 landowners in the Prairie Tax Exemption Program.