Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas Program
Natural Area Registry

South Fowl Lake Natural Area Registry site.

What is Natural Area Registry?

The Natural Area Registry acknowledges that many of Minnesota's finest natural areas occur on public lands not designated as Scientific and Natural Areas. The Registry is a way to recognize natural features of statewide ecological and geological significance on any public land in Minnesota. This voluntary agreement protects areas containing native plant communities, rare species and other outstanding natural features.

Nominating and developing an agreement

Nominated sites are reviewed using information compiled in an ecological evaluation to determine if the site qualifies and if protection through this method is acceptable to all parties. Registration of a site only happens between the land manager and the Scientific and Natural Area Program if all parties approve the agreement. These are non-binding voluntary agreements.

A registry agreement includes:

  • Maps identifying the site
  • Explanation of the place's significance
  • Information on natural features such as native plant communities
  • Identifying and recommending management actions

The Scientific and Natural Area Program requests updates from the land manager at least once every other year. Information is kept current on:

  • Site conditions
  • Significant management activities
  • Natural disturbances
  • Planned future management
  • Changes affecting the registry's natural features

Current Natural Area Registry

Nearly 50 Natural Area Registry agreements guide conservation of native plant communities and rare resources on about 7,700 acres across Minnesota.