Private lands conservation assistance
Working with landowners to improve land and water conditions
Why is this important?
We as a society have an obligation to future generations to carefully manage and conserve Minnesota's forests, brushlands, grasslands, wetlands, and shorelands. With more than 75 percent of Minnesota's land under private ownership, private landowners are critical to fulfilling this obligation.
A variety of pressures on private lands are growing, increasing the need to proactively protect natural and working land and the natural resources and recreational and economic opportunities they provide.
DNR will accelerate its work to help private landowners conserve natural resources by assessing natural resources, providing technical and financial assistance, developing management plans, and delivering information.
Priority Setting: Using inventories such as the Minnesota Biological Survey and integrated landscape planning such as the Minnesota Duck Plan, DNR and partners prioritize private lands for conservation assistance.
Conservation Management: We work with landowners to develop stewardship plans that conserve prairies and other grasslands, brushlands, forestlands, wetlands, and shorelands.
Financial Assistance: We help landowners find funding for planting trees, developing wildlife plans, and other habitat management activities. We are looking for ways to help landowners obtain compensation for sequestering carbon in their forests.
Integrated Conservation Assistance: We are working to improve delivery of private lands assistance through enhanced outreach and collaboration with private landowners and other partners.
Learn about how the DNR is working with landowners to improve land and water conditions.
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Conservation Priority Mapping
Area managers in DNR's southern region created an interactive map integrating the conservation priorities for fish and wildlife habitat, waters, forest resources, rare species, and recreation. Higher priority areas will guide conservation assistance aimed at producing the greatest conservation returns.
Brushland Conservation Management
Guided by a wildlife assessment in the transition and forested regions of central and northern Minnesota, we help private landowners manage priority brushlands with prescribed burns and other tools. This increases the habitat value of brushlands for sharp-tailed grouse and other species that have declined with the loss of grassland and brushland. Brushland Conservation Management
Shoreland Habitat Restoration
Shoreland Habitat Restoration: We provide assistance to private landowners to restore degraded shorelands. On one property on Long Lake in Otter Tail County, DNR cost-share funds and technical assistance allowed the landowner to transform a degraded shoreline that sent sediments and nutrients to the lake. The restored shoreline has a diverse mix of native trees, grasses, and wildflowers that reduce runoff and provide excellent fish and wildlife habitat. We are now providing block grants to lake associations, conservation organizations, and local governments to orchestrate similar shoreland restoration projects.
Long term desired outcomes
- Landowners receive consistent, high quality information and assistance best suited to their land and the landscape.
- Landowners make land management decisions that advance natural resource conservation.
- Healthy, functioning watersheds and landscapes provide significant ecological, economic, and recreational benefits.