Peatland SNA Management Plans
What is a Peatland Scientific and Natural Area (SNA)?
There are approximately 6 million acres of "peatlands" in Minnesota; lands where the underlying substrate consists primarily of peat organic soils. Some of these peatlands are of world-wide significance, and contain some of Minnesota's last true wilderness. Acre upon acre of spruce, tamarack and sedge fens and wetlands exist here with little penetration by roads or human habitation. In 1978, the Minnesota DNR began evaluating the peatlands of Minnesota.
The DNR convened a DNR Peatland Protection Task Force, a Task Force on Peatlands of Special Interest, and a Peatland Protection Area Review Committee in 1983. As a result of this early effort, all of Minnesota's 6 million acres were evaluated as to their ecological significance, and recommendations were made to identify the most fragile and unique of all of the peatland acres in the state.
A report entitled Recommendations for the Protection of Ecologically Significant Peatlands in Minnesota (5.9 Mb) was published in 1984. Eighteen ecologically significant peatlands were identified in this report.
Legislation passed in 1991 included the Peatland Protection Act. In this legislation, each of the 18 peatlands identified in the 1984 report were given SNA status.
These SNAs are all located in northern Minnesota.
Peatland Management Planning
Funded with dollars from the Statewide Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), Management Teams were convened to obtain input from various DNR Divisions, tribal natural resource departments, and County Board Commissioners. In addition, a meeting was convened in October of 2008, with participation from previous Task Force Members, as well as current peatland research scientists, DNR personnel, and county board representatives from some Northern counties. Plans were completed for two Peatland SNAs; Pine Creek Peatland SNA located in Roseau County, MN, and Winter Road Lake Peatland SNA, located in Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties. These plans include items specified for inclusion by the legislation, as well as identification of resources of the SNAs, and management recommendations for the Peatland Scientific and Natural Areas, and the Watershed Protection Areas buffering the units. The public review period concluded on December 30th, 2009, and final approval by the Ecological Resources Division Director was received in May, 2010. The Management Plans are available here:
Winter Road Lake Management Plan (3.5 Mb)
Any questions related to the Peatland Scientific and Natural Areas may be communicated to:
Peggy Booth, SNA Supervisor