Goal 1: Natural Resources Conservation

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

The Challenge

Shifts in land use, the spread of invasive species, pollution and a changing climate are combining today to create some of the greatest challenges Minnesota's natural lands and waters have ever faced. Development and fragmentation of habitat adjacent to public land is impeding natural resource management, restricting public recreational access and reducing the health of natural lands. Under a changing climate we expect to see more severe storms, larger wildfires, accelerating spread of invasive species, outbreaks of pests and shifting wildlife populations.



Click on photos above to learn more about each trend.

  1. Groundwater is threatened.
  2. Invasive species are spreading.
  3. Prairies, grasslands and wetlands are declining.
  4. Grassland bird populations are decreasing.

This page offers a quick overview of our plans to meet this goal. For more details, click below to learn more.

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To meet our goal of conserving and enhancing waters, lands and habitats, we will:

  • identify lands and waters at greatest risk
  • manage lands and waters for ecosystem health and resilience
  • conserve natural areas, working habitats, and species in danger of being lost
  • monitor and fine-tune management for greatest impact.


The following actions are examples of how we will carry out these strategies.

Improve groundwater management

We will increase groundwater monitoring, education and compliance; implement management plans to guide groundwater stewardship in designated areas; and accelerate assessments and permitting to protect trout streams.

Conserve prairies, grasslands and wetlands

We will work with partners to implement the Minnesota prairie conservation plan and conserve habitat through incentives, acquisition, restoration and active management.

Prevent and curb the spread of invasive species

We will protect habitat for native species by installing fish barriers and other deterrents to the spread of invasive species; expand our PlayCleanGo and WorkCleanGo programs, and help develop better invasive species control technologies.

Monitor natural lands, waters and species

We will accelerate inventory and monitoring of vegetation, habitats, fish and wildlife, and water resources; increase cooperative land management; and improve data management and public accessibility.