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Minnesota Legislature

FY2020 Final Appropriation Language and Accomplishment Plans

M.L. 2019, First Special Session, Chapter 2, Article 1, Section 2


Subd. 2. Prairies

2(a) DNR Wildlife Management Area and Scientific and Natural Area Acquisition - Phase XI
$2,519,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire in fee and restore and enhance lands for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8, and to acquire lands in fee for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(b) Accelerating the Wildlife Management Area Program - Phase XI
$6,060,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever to acquire in fee and restore and enhance lands for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(c) MN Prairie Recovery Project - Phase IX
$3,058,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Nature Conservancy to acquire lands in fee and to restore and enhance native prairies, grasslands, wetlands, and savannas. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. No later than 180 days after The Nature Conservancy's fiscal year ends, The Nature Conservancy must submit to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council annual income statements and balance sheets for income and expenses from land acquired with this appropriation. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan, and the acquisitions must be consistent with the priorities identified in Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan.

2(d) Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge - Phase X
$2,383,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Nature Conservancy, in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to acquire lands in fee or permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance lands in the Northern Tallgrass Prairie Habitat Preservation Area in western Minnesota for addition to the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan, and the acquisitions must be consistent with the priorities in Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan.

2(e) Lower Wild Rice Corridor Habitat Restoration - Phase II
$225,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Wild Rice Watershed District to acquire land in permanent conservation easement and to restore river and related habitat in the Wild Rice River corridor. $2,750,000 the first year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire lands in permanent conservation easements and to restore river and related habitat in the Wild Rice River corridor, of which up to $111,000 is for establishing a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed acquisitions must be included as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(f) Martin County DNR WMA Acquisition - Phase III
$3,650,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire lands in fee and restore and enhance strategic prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitat in Martin County for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8. Of this amount, $3,002,000 is to Fox Lake Conservation League Inc., $554,000 is to Ducks Unlimited, and $94,000 is to The Conservation Fund. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part f the required accomplishment plan.

2(g) RIM Grasslands Reserve
$2,276,000 the first year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance grassland habitat under Minnesota Statutes, section 103F.501 to 5.18 103F.531. Of this amount, up to $39,000 is for establishing a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report.

2(h) Prairie Chicken Habitat Partnership of the Southern Red River Valley - Phase V
$2,558,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever, in cooperation with the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, to acquire lands in fee and restore and enhance lands in the southern Red River valley for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8, or to be designated and managed as waterfowl production areas in Minnesota in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(i) DNR Grassland Enhancement - Phase XI
$8,861,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to accelerate restoration and enhancement of prairies, grasslands, and savannas in wildlife management areas, in scientific and natural areas, in aquatic management areas, on lands in the native prairie bank, in bluff prairies on state forest land in southeastern Minnesota, and in waterfowl production areas and refuge lands of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. A list of proposed land restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(j) Anoka Sand Plain Habitat Restoration and Enhancement - Phase VI
$2,573,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat on public lands and easements in the Anoka Sand Plain ecoregion and intersecting minor watersheds as follows: $156,000 is to the Anoka Conservation District; $699,000 is to Great River Greening; $269,000 is to the Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District; $182,000 is to the National Wild Turkey Federation; and $1,267,000 is to Minnesota Land Trust, of which up to $144,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is for establishing monitoring and enforcement funds as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed permanent conservation easements, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(k) Fairmont Chain of Lakes Habitat Restoration Plan - Phase I
$1,390,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Fairmont to restore and enhance grassland, wetland, and stream habitats in the Dutch Creek watershed. A list of proposed restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

Subd. 3. Forests

3(a) Protecting Strategic Forest Lands Near Camp Ripley Partnership - Phase VIII
$3,348,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Conservation Fund to acquire in fee and restore and enhance forest wildlife habitat in Cass, Crow Wing, and Morrison Counties in proximity to the Minnesota National Guard Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape. Land must be acquired for state forests under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 7; for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5; or as county forest land or municipal forest land. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

3(b) Southeast Minnesota Protection and Restoration - Phase VII
$5,741,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements as follows: (1) $2,701,000 to The Nature Conservancy to acquire lands in fee to be held by The Nature Conservancy or acquire lands in fee for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5; for state forests under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 7; and for aquatic management areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 14; (2) $1,370,000 to The Trust for Public Land to acquire lands in fee for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5; for state forests under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 7; and for aquatic management areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 14; and (3) $1,670,000 to Minnesota Land Trust to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat, of which $192,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. Annual income statements and balance sheets for income and expenses from land acquired in fee and held by The Nature Conservancy with the appropriation in clause (1) must be submitted to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council no later than 180 days after The Nature Conservancy's fiscal year closes. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

3(c) Minnesota Forests for the Future - Phase VII
$4,573,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire lands in fee and easements and to restore and enhance forests, wetlands, and shoreline habitat through working forest permanent conservation easements under the Minnesota forests for the future program according to Minnesota Statutes, section 84.66. A conservation easement acquired with money appropriated under this paragraph must comply with Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 13. The accomplishment plan must include an easement monitoring and enforcement plan. Of this amount, up to $150,000 is for establishing a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report.

3(d) Mississippi River Floodplain Forest Enhancement - Phase III
$1,357,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the National Audubon Society to restore and enhance floodplain forest habitat for wildlife on public lands along the Mississippi River. A list of restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

3(e) Enhanced Public Land Open Landscapes - Phase I
$955,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever, in cooperation with the Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society, to enhance and restore early successional open landscape habitat on public lands. A list of proposed restoration and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

3(f) Minnesota Forest Recovery Project - Phase I
$1,058,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Nature Conservancy to enhance degraded forests in Beltrami, Cass, Cook, Itasca, Lake, and St. Louis Counties. A list of enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

Subd. 4. Wetlands

4(a) Accelerating the Waterfowl Production Area Program - Phase XI
$5,631,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever, in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to acquire lands in fee and to restore and enhance wetlands and grasslands to be designated and managed as waterfowl production areas in Minnesota. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(b) Shallow Lake and Wetland Protection Program - Phase VIII
$6,150,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Ducks Unlimited to acquire lands in fee and to restore and enhance prairie lands, wetlands, and land buffering shallow lakes for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(c) Wetland Habitat Protection Program - Phase IV
$2,129,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Minnesota Land Trust to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance prairie, wetland, and other habitat on permanently protected conservation easements in high-priority wetland habitat complexes in the prairie and forest/prairie transition regions. Of this amount, up to $240,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed conservation easement acquisitions and restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(d) Wild Rice Shoreland Protection - Phase V
$937,000 the first year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements on wild rice lake shoreland habitat for native wild rice bed protection. Of this amount, up to $72,000 is for establishing a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report. $250,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire lands in fee and restore and enhance lands for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5; for state forests under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 7; and for aquatic management under Minnesota Statutes, sections 86A.05, subdivision 14, and 97C.02 to acquire lands for wild rice lake shoreland habitat to protect native wild rice beds. A list of proposed acquisitions in fee must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(e) Shallow Lakes and Wetland Enhancement - Phase XI
$3,541,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to enhance and restore shallow lakes and wetland habitat statewide. A list of proposed land restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(f) Restoring Wetlands Dominated by Nonnative Cattail in Border Waters
$1,270,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the National Park Service to restore and enhance wetland and lacustrine habitat in Voyageurs National Park. A list of proposed restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the accomplishment plan.

4(g) Big Rice Lake Wild Rice Enhancement
$845,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to enhance and restore wild rice wetland habitat in Big Rice Lake in St. Louis County.

Subd. 5. Habitat

5(a) St. Croix Watershed Habitat Protection and Restoration - Phase I
$3,751,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements as follows: (1) $2,209,000 to The Trust for Public Land to acquire land in fee and to acquire permanent conservation stream easements in the St. Croix River watershed using the payment method prescribed in Minnesota Statutes, section 84.0272, subdivision 2; (2) $1,377,000 to Minnesota Land Trust to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance natural habitat systems in the St. Croix River watershed. Of this amount, up to $168,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17; and (3) $165,000 to the St. Croix River Association to coordinate and administer the program under this paragraph. A list of proposed land acquisitions and permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(b) Metro Big Rivers - Phase IX
$4,163,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire lands in fee and permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance natural habitat systems associated with the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix Rivers and their tributaries in the metropolitan area. Of this amount, $820,000 is to Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust Inc., $532,000 is to Friends of the Mississippi River, $1,061,000 is to Great River Greening, and $1,750,000 is to Minnesota Land Trust. Up to $144,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed land acquisitions and permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(c) Dakota County Habitat Protection/Restoration - Phase VII
$3,516,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Dakota County to acquire permanent conservation easements and land in fee and to restore and enhance riparian and other habitats in Dakota County. A list of proposed land acquisitions and restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(d) Fisheries Habitat Protection on Strategic North Central Minnesota Lakes - Phase V
$3,365,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire lands in fee and permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat to sustain healthy fish habitat on coldwater lakes in Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, and Hubbard Counties. Of this amount, $841,000 is to Northern Waters Land Trust and $2,524,000 is to Minnesota Land Trust. Up to $192,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(e) Sauk River Watershed Habitat Protection and Restoration
$2,946,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire lands in fee and permanent conservation easements and restore and enhance wildlife habitat in the Sauk River watershed as follows: $440,000 to Sauk River Watershed District, $590,000 to Pheasants Forever, and $1,916,000 to Minnesota Land Trust. Up to $192,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(f) Trout Unlimited Coldwater Fish Habitat Enhancement and Restoration - Phase XI
$2,359,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Trout Unlimited to acquire permanent conservation stream easements using the payment method prescribed in Minnesota Statutes, section 84.0272, subdivision 2, and to restore and enhance habitat for trout and other species in and along coldwater rivers, lakes, and streams in Minnesota. Up to $40,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed land acquisitions and restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(g) DNR Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Enhancement - Phase II
$3,208,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to restore and enhance aquatic habitat in degraded streams and aquatic management areas and to facilitate fish passage. A list of proposed land restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(h) St. Louis River Restoration Initiative - Phase VI
$3,777,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to restore aquatic and riparian habitats in the St. Louis River estuary. Of this appropriation, up to $2,182,000 is for an agreement with Minnesota Land Trust. A list of proposed restorations must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(i) Knife River Habitat Rehabilitation - Phase IV
$891,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Zeitgeist, in cooperation with the Lake Superior Steelhead Association, to restore and enhance trout habitat in the Knife River watershed. A list of proposed enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(j) Shell Rock River Watershed Habitat Restoration Program - Phase VIII
$2,046,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Shell Rock River Watershed District to acquire lands in fee and to restore and enhance aquatic habitat in the Shell Rock River watershed. A list of proposed acquisitions, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(k) Pine River Fish Passage Project
$1,246,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District to restore and enhance riverine habitat in the Pine River and provide fish passage by removing dams and modifying and installing structures.

5(l) Sauk River Dam Fish Passage
$737,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District to restore and enhance riverine habitat in the Sauk River and provide fish passage by removing the dam and modifying and installing structures at the Melrose dam site.

5(m) Restoring Norway Brook Connectivity to the Pine River
$2,267,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Pine River to restore and enhance riverine habitat in the Pine River and provide fish passage by removing the dam and modifying and installing structures at the Norway Lake dam site.

5(n) Pig's Eye Lake Islands Habitat Restoration and Enhancement
$4,337,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Ramsey County to restore and enhance wildlife habitat in Pig's Eye Lake, to include constructing islands.

5(o) Restoring Upper Mississippi River at Lake Pepin
$750,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance to restore and enhance wildlife habitat on public lands in Lake Pepin and the adjacent floodplain. A list of proposed restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(p) Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program: Statewide and Metro Habitat - Phase XI
$10,760,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for a program to provide competitive matching grants of up to $400,000 to local, regional, state, and national organizations for enhancing, restoring, or protecting forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat for fish, game, or wildlife in Minnesota. Of this amount, at least $3,000,000 is for grants in the seven-county metropolitan area and cities with a population of 50,000 or greater. Grants must not be made for activities required to fulfill the duties of owners of lands subject to conservation easements. Grants must not be made from the appropriation in this paragraph for projects that have a total project cost exceeding $575,000. Of the total appropriation, $445,000 may be spent for personnel costs and other direct and necessary administrative costs. Grantees may acquire land or interests in land. Easements must be permanent. Grants may not be used to establish easement stewardship accounts. Land acquired in fee must be open to hunting and fishing during the open season unless otherwise provided by law. The program must require a match of at least ten percent from nonstate sources for all grants. The match may be cash or in-kind resources. For grant applications of $25,000 or less, the commissioner must provide a separate, simplified application process. Subject to Minnesota statutes, the commissioner of natural resources must, when evaluating projects of equal value, give priority to organizations that have a history of receiving, or a charter to receive, private contributions for local conservation or habitat projects. If acquiring land in fee or a conservation easement, priority must be given to projects associated with or within one mile of existing wildlife management areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, sections 84.033 and 86A.05, subdivision 5; or aquatic management areas under Minnesota Statutes, sections 86A.05, subdivision 14, and 97C.02. All restoration or enhancement projects must be on land permanently protected by a permanent covenant ensuring perpetual maintenance and protection of restored and enhanced habitat, by a conservation easement or public ownership or in public waters as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.005, subdivision 15. Priority must be given to restoration and enhancement projects on public lands. Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 13, applies to grants awarded under this paragraph. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023. No less than five percent of the amount of each grant must be held back from reimbursement until the grant recipient has completed a grant accomplishment report by the deadline and in the form prescribed by and satisfactory to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The commissioner must provide notice of the grant program in the summary of game and fish law prepared under Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.051, subdivision 2.

Subd. 6. Administration

6(a) Contract Management
$210,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for contract management duties assigned in this section. The commissioner must provide an accomplishment plan in the form specified by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council on expending this appropriation. The accomplishment plan must include a copy of the grant contract template and reimbursement manual. No money may be expended before the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council approves the accomplishment plan.

6(b) Legislative Coordinating Commission
$555,000 the first year and $560,000 the second year are to the Legislative Coordinating Commission for administrativeexpenses of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and for compensating and reimbursing expenses of council members. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021. Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.281, applies to this appropriation.

6(c) Technical Evaluation Panel
$150,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for a technical evaluation panel to conduct up to 25 restoration and enhancement evaluations under Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 10.

6(d) Legacy Website
$5,000 the first year and $5,000 the second year are to the Legislative Coordinating Commission for the website required in Minnesota Statutes, section 3.303, subdivision 10.