Regionally significant ecological areas (RSEA)

Communities recognize the importance of natural areas to quality of life and that escalating development pressures threaten remaining natural lands and water bodies. Communities thus need tools to help them identify natural areas for conservation and protection.

Metro area assessment

In 2003 the DNR Central Region conducted a landscape-scale assessment of the seven-county metro area to identify ecologically significant terrestrial and wetland areas. This assessment was based on LandSat data and aerial photo interpretation of grassland.  In 2008 the DNR updated the assessment using MLCCS data.  Products available from this:

Other regional assessments

The DNR has also completed 2 statewide ecological assessments using the National Land Cover Dataset from 2001 and 2006.  Those GIS products are available in ArcMap via Quick Layers in the Environmental Quality folder.  Contact Bart Richardson for more information - [email protected]


For questions, contact Bart Richardson (651-259-5796, [email protected]) or Sharon Pfeifer (651-259-5723)

This effort was supported, in part, by the Metropolitan Council, which provided satellite land cover data used to develop a hybrid land cover map as well as funding for GIS support staff. Staff of DNR Ecological Resources assisted with model development and provided peer review during model development.

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