Goal 1: Natural Resources Conservation

Minnesota's waters, natural lands, and diverse fish and wildlife habitats are conserved and enhanced.

Minnesota is known for its water, forests, prairies, and wildlife. Not only does our state boast a diversity of natural lands, plants, and animals, these natural resources have remained in relatively high quality. As such, Minnesota's quality of natural resources is inextricably linked to our quality of life. We must continue to maintain both the diversity and quality as the interaction between multiple pressures — land use change, invasive species spread, pollution, and a changing climate — creates a great challenge for sustaining the places and experiences we value.



Four key trends informing Goal 1 strategies:

  1. Minnesota's water resources are limited and sources of risk to both water quality and quantity, including competing demands for water, are an increasing concern.
  2. Invasive species are spreading, decreasing the stability of ecological systems and adversely affecting natural resource dependent industries.
  3. Prairies, grasslands, and wetlands are declining, limiting habitat for native species and impacting water resources.
  4. Conservation, government, and community organizations have high capacity, increasing the opportunity to coordinate closely with partners.


The following strategies serve to guide targeted actions related to Goal 1:

  • Conserve natural areas. Retain natural areas and working lands containing important habitats, especially habitats in jeopardy, such as native prairies, wetlands, shallow lakes, and shorelines. Connect fragments of high-quality habitat. Conserve endangered, threatened, rare, declining and vulnerable species.
  • Mitigate and adapt to the changing climate. Identify and implement policies and practices that enhance climate change resiliency. Ensure climate strategies are informed by best available science and engagement with communities and conservation partners.
  • Manage lands and waters effectively and adaptively. Foster healthy habitats and create resiliency in Minnesota's habitats to allow species to adapt to change. Monitor and fine-tune management actions.
  • Identify natural resources most in need of protection and management. Give priority to places facing the pressures of land use change, pollution, climate change and invasive species.
  • Restore degraded habitats. Restore the integrity of degraded lakes, wetlands, rivers, grasslands, and forests. Prevent and slow the spread of invasive species.
  • Monitor and fine-tune management actions. Track and continually improve the effectiveness of our conservation work.