Shifts in land use, the spread of invasive species, pollution and a changing climate are combining today to create some of the greatest challenges Minnesota's natural lands and waters have ever faced. Development and fragmentation of habitat adjacent to public land is impeding natural resource management, restricting public recreational access and reducing the health of natural lands. Under a changing climate we expect to see more severe storms, larger wildfires, accelerating spread of invasive species, outbreaks of pests and shifting wildlife populations.
Four key trends illustrate this conservation challenge:
To meet our goal of conserving and enhancing waters, lands and habitats, we will:
The following actions are examples of how we will carry out these strategies.
Improve groundwater management
We will increase groundwater monitoring, education and compliance; implement management plans to guide groundwater stewardship in designated areas; and accelerate assessments and permitting to protect trout streams.
Conserve prairies, grasslands and wetlands
We will work with partners to implement the Minnesota prairie conservation plan and conserve habitat through incentives, acquisition, restoration and active management.
Prevent and curb the spread of invasive species
We will protect habitat for native species by installing fish barriers and other deterrents to the spread of invasive species; expand our PlayCleanGo and WorkCleanGo programs, and help develop better invasive species control technologies.
Monitor natural lands, waters and species
We will accelerate inventory and monitoring of vegetation, habitats, fish and wildlife, and water resources; increase cooperative land management; and improve data management and public accessibility.