January 2005

The DNR communications team works with agency experts to develop the weekly questions and provide the answers. This feature addresses current DNR issues, interesting topics, or the most frequently asked questions from around Minnesota.






When is a good time to start planning your lakeshore restoration project and what should a property owner know when planning?

Winter is a great time to start envisioning and planning a new lakeshore. The first step in any restoration project is to design a master site plan for the entire property. This includes figuring out the types of plants that can be used and are best suited to the conditions of the your site. The easiest way to figure out which plants will work is to look at the native plants that are growing in the water and along the shoreline of undisturbed property on your lake or river. Remember to only use plants native to Minnesota, and if your plan calls for planting in the water or at the waters edge, a permit may be necessary from the Minnesota DNR Aquatic Plant Management Program. There are two great resources that can help with any lakeshore restoration project - "Restore Your Shore" CD-ROM and the "Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality" book. Once the master plan is complete, it is a good idea to do the project in phases to make the process less expensive and less daunting.

John Hiebert, DNR Shoreland Habitat Coordinator


How do mild winters, like the one we experienced before our recent frigid temperatures, affect the battle to keep invasive plant and animal species out of Minnesota?

The number of invasive species that exist in the state, now or in the future, is determined by how many species are introduced by people's actions, and whether they can survive after they have been introduced. Our northern climate is one factor that limits the number of species that can survive in the state. A recent University of Minnesota study, which was funded by the DNR, showed that aquatic invasive plants have varied levels of winter hardiness. This type of information and additional research could help us determine which species could be a future threat to the state's lakes and other natural resources. One aquatic invasive species in particular - hydrilla - could arrive and survive in the state with our current climate. A continuing trend toward warmer winters could increase the potential for more invasive species of plants and animals to establish in the state.

Jay Rendall, DNR Invasive Species Program Coordinator


The DNR is almost a year into its Strategic Conservation Agenda and is already achieving a number of successes. What has been accomplished thus far?

The Conservation Agenda enables the DNR to communicate and work towards its mission through a set of measurable indicators and conservation targets. The report acts as a guide for the department when it comes to managing natural lands, fish and wildlife, waters and watersheds, and promoting outdoor recreation and natural resources stewardship education. It also identifies challenges that lay ahead of us. Just a few of the successes achieved include an increase in the number of participants in special youth hunts and the increase in metro area ponds stocked for fishing and education. Minnesota's wild turkey population has continued to expand their range, which has provided more opportunities for more hunters to harvest a wild turkey. The DNR continues its work to achieve third-party audited certification of 4.5 million acres of state-administered forestlands. And, progress is being made in areas such as clean water initiatives, recreation opportunities and new efforts to provide land-use planning information to citizens and local leaders. The DNR will continue to work towards innovative solutions with our many partners to address current and future natural resource challenges such as the loss of shoreline habitat, wetlands, and prairies; the increasing threat from harmful, invasive species; forest productivity; the recovery of walleyes in Red Lake; and access to lands for public recreational use. The DNR is updating the Conservation Agenda to reflect these successes and challenges. The full DNR Strategic Conservation Agenda can be viewed on the DNR's Web site. The successes and updates will be posted on the Web site in February.

Keith Wendt and Laura Preus, DNR Science Policy Unit


Beginning Jan. 3, people planning to stay overnight in Minnesota's state parks can reserve specific campsites or lodging facilities. How will this new option work?

Visitors will be able to select a specific site or location in state park campgrounds, group camps, horse camps, camper cabins and lodging when they make their reservations. Information about available facilities and maps of parks campgrounds can be found on the individual park pages on the DNR Web site or at Minnesota State Parks Reservations .

One important change is that all fees - reservation, camping or camper cabin - for the full length of the stay will now be due when the reservation is made. Pre-payment of one night's lodging fee in advance remains the same. Reservations for campgrounds can be made from two to 90 days in advance of arrival date, and up to a year in advance for camper cabins and lodging rentals. However, camping or lodging reservations paid for by check or money order must be made no later than 10 days in advance. State parks will still have some campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis for campers without reservations. Reservations can be made online 24 hours a day or by phone, seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 1-866-85PARKS.

Dave Rodahl, DNR Recreational Vehicle Coordinator


DNR Question of the Week Archive