Natural Heritage Review

Obtaining NHIS Data

The Natural Heritage Information System (NHIS) is a collection of data layers that provides information on Minnesota's rare plants, animals, native plant communities, and other rare features.

Natural Heritage Screen

A Natural Heritage Screen is the process of checking for NHIS data in the vicinity of an activity/project to determine if further review is needed. The following optional checklist for recording results of an NH Screen may be useful to licensees and DNR staff conducting NH Screens.

Natural Heritage Review

The purpose of a Natural Heritage Review is 1) to determine if there is any potential for a project to impact state-listed species or other rare features, and 2) to identify measures needed to ensure that a project is complying with state laws related to state-listed species and other rare features. A Natural Heritage Review must be conducted for all projects that meet the threshold for formal environmental review. Government units may also require a Natural Heritage Review as part of their license/permit/grant applications. Regardless of whether a Natural Heritage Review is required, compliance with state law is required. It is strongly recommended that all projects undergo a Natural Heritage Review as a project proposer’s due diligence for following state law and considering impacts to Minnesota’s Natural Heritage.

  • MCE – Online submission with an immediate response stating the status of your review
  • NHIS Data Request Form – If unable to submit via MCE, submit via email (preferred) or mail

Exceptions

The following types of projects do not go through the regular Natural Heritage Review process:

Rare Species Survey Process

The DNR’s Rare Species Survey Process includes the following steps:

  • Choosing a Surveyor
  • Acquiring a Collection Permit
  • Preparing a Survey Plan
  • Using Survey Guidance
  • Verifying Specimens
  • Preparing Survey Reports
  • Submitting Reports and Data
  • Documenting Avoidance

Related documents are found below:

DNR List of Surveyors

Rare Species Survey Guidance

Survey Plans, Survey Reports, and Avoidance Plans

Report and Data Submission

Contact the Natural Heritage Review Team

Natural Heritage Review staff receive a high volume of emails. Please use the following email addresses to ensure that your inquiry is routed to the correct staff and addressed in a timely manner:

[email protected] – For questions regarding Natural Heritage Review, including status inquiries
[email protected] – For submitting survey reports and data
[email protected] – For submitting License Agreement Application Forms
[email protected] – For questions regarding the NHIS Rare Features Data or training materials
[email protected] – For questions or troubleshooting regarding Minnesota Conservation Explorer

If your inquiry does not fit one of the above categories, please contact the team directly:

Lisa Joyal
Endangered Species Review Coordinator
NHIS Data Distribution Coordinator
651-259-5109
[email protected]
Conducts Natural Heritage Reviews
Coordinates the review of survey reports
Coordinates License Agreements
NHIS Training Team

Samantha Bump
NH Review Specialist
651-259-5091
[email protected]
Conducts Natural Heritage Reviews
Coordinates the review of survey reports
Coordinates License Agreements
NHIS Training Team

James Drake
NH Review Specialist
651-259-
[email protected]
Conducts Natural Heritage Reviews

Kit Elstad-Haveles
Regional Ecologist
651-259-5793
[email protected]
NHIS Training Team

Becky Horton
Environmental Review Planner
651-259-5122
[email protected]
Coordinates the review of survey reports