Goal 3

Minnesota's natural lands and habitats will be conserved and enhanced.


DNR and partners are working towards a Minnesota future where a healthy, sustainable network of natural lands is in balance with agricultural, urban, and developed spaces. Undeveloped areas protect our natural heritage for future generations, providing plant and animal habitat, water and watershed protection, and beauty and open space.


Goal for the future envisions

Remaining natural ecosystems are conserved.
Healthy habitats are connected by natural corridors. Our forest resource is substantial and enduring. The forest is as big as, or bigger than, forests today. With DNR assistance, private landowners manage forests for multiple values. Corridors link tracts of forest land and provide the extensive habitat wildlife needs to thrive. Native prairies are protected, and grasslands and riparian forest are restored through donations, purchases, and easements. We are responsible stewards of DNR-administered lands and good neighbors to adjacent landowners. Uncommon and rare habitats are protected.

Degraded habitats are restored.
Lakes, wetlands, and rivers are renewed. Grasslands and forests have been restored. Marginal cropland is enrolled in long- term conservation easement programs. Corridors such as public rights of way support rich natural resources. With DNR assistance private landowners improve the habitat values of their lands.

Natural resources thrive in the context of human influences.
Invasive species are under control. Natural lands continue to provide ecological, recreational, and economic benefits in the face of climate change. Fire is a part of forest and grassland ecosystems, while people and property are protected from wildfire.

Urban and developing areas support a diversity of plant and animal communities and offer diverse recreational opportunities.
Surface and ground water is clean and abundant enough to meet the needs of ecosystems, businesses, and residents. Local decisions are supported by public-private partnerships, with DNR providing technical assistance and coordination.