A new federal grant award will fund collaborative planning by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to further large-scale moose habitat restoration in northeast Minnesota.
The award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, through the new America the Beautiful Challenge, will provide $443,600 to the DNR for the planning effort, with a goal of an implementation plan for moose habitat restoration on three areas of 10,000 to 50,000 contiguous acres each.
“This grant is great news for efforts to address the long-term moose population decline in Minnesota,” said Kelly Straka, wildlife section manager. “This grant supports an effort that has broad support from a number of tribal, federal, county and non-governmental partner organizations, and all are critical players in planning for long-term habitat improvements.”
Tribal, federal, county and non-governmental partner organizations helped develop the planning approach and signed letters of support for the DNR’s grant application, which was one of 55 chosen nationwide from more than 500 applications.
The patchwork of tribal, federal, state, county and private land in northeast Minnesota makes large-scale habitat restoration particularly challenging. The grant will fund a series of workshops with tribal, federal, state, county and non-governmental partner organizations in 2023 and 2024 to identify the challenges facing large-scale moose habitat restoration, find strategies to address the challenges, identify areas for large-scale habitat restoration and create an implementation plan for the restoration. The implementation plan will also identify potential sources of funding to complete the agreed upon large-scale habitat restoration.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation along with its public- and private-sector partners announced a total of nearly $91 million in grants through the America the Beautiful Challenge.