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M.L. 1995 Projects

M.L. 1995 Projects

MN Laws 1995, Chapter 220, Section 19, 20, and 21 (beginning July 1, 1995)

NOTE: For all projects, contact us to obtain the most up-to-date work programs for current projects (project updates are required twice each year) or the final reports of completed projects.

The following documents are short abstracts for projects funded during the 1995-1997 biennium. The final date of completion for these projects is listed at the end of the abstract. When available, we have provided links to a project's web site. The sites linked to this page are not created, maintained, or endorsed by the LCCMR office or the Minnesota Legislature.

Subd. 04   Parks and Trails
Subd. 05   Management Approaches
Subd. 06   Environmental Education
Subd. 07   Natural Resource Data
Subd. 08   Urban Natural Resources
Subd. 09   Fisheries
Subd. 10   Wildlife
Subd. 11   Energy
Subd. 12   Historic
Subd. 13   Biological Control
Subd. 20   Additional Appropriations

Subd. 04   Parks and Trails
04aMetropolitan Regional Park System
04bState Park and Recreation Area Acquisition, Development, Betterment and Rehabilitation
04cState Trail Rehabilitation and Acquisition
04dWater Access
04eLocal Natural Resource Grants
04fMinneapolis Park and Trail Connections
04gLocal Share for ISTEA Federal Projects
04hPine Point Park Rest Station
04iInteractive Multi-Media Computer Information System
04jUpper Sioux Agency State Park *
04kGrain Belt Mississippi Riverfront Development *
04lWildcat Regional Park *
Subd. 05   Management Approaches
05aLocal River Planning - Continuation
05bCannon River Watershed Strategic Plan: Integrated Management
05cTri-County Leach Lake Watershed Project
05dBlufflands Landscape
05eGlacial Lake Agassiz Beach Ridges: Mining and Protection
05fAtmospheric Mercury Emissions, Deposition, and Environmental Cost Evaluation - RESEARCH
05gMercury Deposition and Lake Quality Trends - RESEARCH
05hFeedlot and Manure Management Practices Assistance - RESEARCH
05iWater Quality Impacts of Feedlot Pollution Control Systems - RESEARCH
05jShoreland Septic Inventory and Education - RESEARCH
05kAlternative Individual Sewage Treatment Systems Development and Demonstration - RESEARCH
05lPathways to Sustainable Development
05mUpper Mississippi River Protection Project
05nForest Management to Maintain Structural and Species Diversity - RESEARCH
05oAccelerated Native Grass and Forbs on Road Rights-of-Way
05pAccelerate Landscape Management Activities in Whitewater Watershed
05qSustainable Grassland Conservation and Utilization
05rDeveloping, Evaluating and Promoting Sustainable Farming Systems
05sCooperatives to Promote Sustainable Agricultural Practices and Research
05tRecycled Biosolids Product used to Reclaim Disturbed Areas - RESEARCH
Subd. 06   Environmental Education
06aLeopold Education Project Curriculum
06bEnvironmental Education Teacher Training
06cSharing Environmental Education Knowledge
06dEnvironmental Video Resource Library and Public Television Series
06eDevelopment, Assimilation and Distribution of Wolf Educational Materials
06fEnvironmental Action Grants for Minnesota Schools
06gElectronic Environmental Education Network (EEEN)
06hThree Rivers Initiative
06iInteractive Computer Exhibit on Minnesota Renewable Energy Sources
06jTrees for Teens: Training, Resources, Education, Employment, Service
06kRedwood Falls School District #637 Environmental Education Project
06lTogether Outdoors Minnesota
06mEnhanced Natural Resource Opportunities for Asian-Pacific Minnesotans
06nDeliver Ecological Information and Technical Assistance to Local Governments
06oNonpoint Source Pollution Public Education Demonstration Project
06pWhitetail Deer Resource Center
06qGordon Guillion Chair in Forest Wildlife Research and Education
06rNey Environmental Center *
06sLawndale Environmental Center *
Subd. 07   Natural Resource Data
07aEnvironmental Indicators Initiative
07bAssessing Wetland Quality With Ecological Indicators - RESEARCH
07cCounty Biological Survey - Continuation
07dForest Bird Diversity Initiative - Continuation - RESEARCH
07eBase Maps for 1990's - Final Phase - Continuation
07fCompletion of Statewide Land Use Update - Continuation
07gFillmore County Soil Survey Update
07hMinnesota River Tile System Research - Continuation - RESEARCH
07iSugarloaf Site Assessment and Interpretation
07jMicrobial Deterioration of Asphalt Materials and its Prevention - RESEARCH
07kAnalysis of Lands Enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program *
Subd. 08   Urban Natural Resources
08aUrban Wildlife Habitat Program
08bGardening Program - Statewide
08cReleaf: Planting for Energy Conservation in Communities
08dMaplewood Innovative Storm Water Management Project
08ePhalen Wetland Restoration
08fWetland Restoration and Enhancement to Create Community Amenity and Form
08gMetropolitan Area Groundwater Model to Predict Contaminant Movement
08hArboretum Boundary Land Acquisition
Subd. 09   Fisheries
09aStatewide Experimental Fishing Regulations
09bRIM - Accelerate Fisheries Acquisition for Angler Access
09cRIM - Accelerate Fisheries Habitat Development, Hatchery Rehabilitation and Streamflow Protection
Subd. 10   Wildlife
10aRIM - Accelerate Wildlife Acquisition
10bRIM - Accelerate Critical Habitat Match Program
10cRIM - Accelerate Wildlife Habitat Stewardship
10dBiomass Production, Management and Restoration of Brushland Habitats - RESEARCH
10eTurn in Poachers Youth Activity Book
Subd. 11   Energy
11aInter-city Electric Vehicle Transportation Demonstration - WITHDRAWN
11bSustainable Development of Wind Energy on Family Farms
11c1 Megawatt Hybrid Electrical Generation Simulation Project
11dAvian Population Analysis for Wind Power Generation Regions - RESEARCH
11eEnergy Improvements in Public Ice Arenas
Subd. 12   Historic
12aRestore Historic Mississippi River Mill Site
12bPond-Dakota Mission Restoration
12cJoseph R. Brown Interpretive Center Restoration Project
12dHeritage Trails
12eRestoration of Historic Elba Fire Tower
12fManaging Minnesota Shipwrecks
12gLac Qui Parle Mission Historic Trail *
Subd. 13   Biological Control
13aBiological Control of Eurasian Watermilfoil and Purple Loosestrife - Continuation - RESEARCH
13bBiological Control of Overland Spread of Oak Wilt - RESEARCH
13cBeneficial Fungal Inoculum for Prairie and Wetland Reclamation - RESEARCH
Additional Appropriations
20aState Park and Recreation Area Acquisition
20bMetropolitan Regional Park Acquisition, Additional Fiscal Year 1995 Appropriation
 Cannon Valley Trail Repair

Funding Sources: (**note: all projects are TF, unless otherwise noted)
Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (TF)
Future Resources Fund (FRF)
Great Lakes Protection Account (GLPA)
Oil Over Charge(OOC)

Subd. 04   Parks and Trails

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Metropolitan Regional Park System
Subd. 04a    $3,950,000 TF

M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 4a - $3,950,000
M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 20b - $1,120,000
M.L. 1996, Chp. 407, Sec. 8, Subd. 1a and Subd. 3a - $1,000,000

Arne Stefferud
Metropolitan Council
Mears Park Centre
230 E. Fifth St.
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone:  (651) 291-6360

This program has multiple purposes that generally address the acquisition, upkeep and improvement of Metropolitan Regional Parks. Objectives include: develop or redevelop recreation facilities, acquire residential and vacant lands within parks and reserves from willing sellers, create/restore natural habitats in parks and reserves, retrofit recreational facilities to accommodate persons with disabilities. ML95 Chap. 220 Sec. 19 Subd.4(a): $3,950,000 This particular allocation from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund (TF) was used to fund or help support projects under the following classifications.

Park/Trail Development/Redevelopment, Residential Inholding Acquisitions, Emergency Acquisition/Development Projects, Natural Resource Development Projects, ADA Retrofit Projects.

M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 20b: This additional appropriation of $1,120,000 was made for acquisition only.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $3,500,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 4b).

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State Park and Recreation Area Acquisition, Development, Betterment and Rehabilitation
Subd. 04b    $3,130,000 TF

John Strohkirch
DNR, State Park Development and Acquisition Manager
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4039

Phone:  (651) 296-8289

This project accomplished some of the goals of the State Park and Recreation Area Development, Acquisition, and Betterment and Rehabilitation Programs. Funds for this project were used to acquire high priority parcels of private lands within the state park boundaries offered for sale by willing sellers. This project also included the major rehabilitation and development of State Park and recreation area buildings and the betterment of non-building facilities. This program is funded not only from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund (TF) and the Minnesota Future Resources Fund (FRF) but also from other state allocations.

M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 4b: $1,070,000 The appropriation was used to acquire approximately 320 acres of land within 10 Minnesota State Parks. These parks include, but are not limited to, William O'Brien State Park (80 acres), Split Rock Creek Park (120 acres), and Banning State Park (50 acres). The remaining $2,080,000 was used for development. This allocation funded approximately 46 facilities and projects at 41 Minnesota State Parks. Examples of the results from this allocation include, but are not limited to, the following.

  1. Fort Snelling State Park - partial funding for a new visitor center.
  2. Gooseberry Falls State Park - built a campground registration building.
  3. Glendalough State Park - built a bathroom and shower facility in the campground.
  4. Forestville Mystery Cave State Park - Constructed a trail and bridge.

M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 4j: $200,000 FRF This funding represents an additional appropriation to ML95 Chap. 220 Sec. 19 Subd. 4(b). and was allocated for the construction of a bathroom and shower facility for a new campground at Upper Sioux Agency State Park.

M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 20a: $1,120,000 This funding represents an additional appropriation to ML95 Chap. 220 Sec. 19 Subd. 4(b). and was allocated strictly for state park and recreation area acquisition. These additional funds enabled the purchase of 1030 acres of land in the following 11 state parks: Blue Mounds, Crow Wing, Glendalough, Great River Bluffs, Itasca, Lake Bemidji, Lake Bronson, Mille Lacs Kathio, Sibley, Split Rock Lighthouse, and Temperance River.

M.L. 1996, Chp. 406, Sec. 8, Subd. 3b: An additional appropriation of $1,000,000 was made to this program in 1996 for the acquisition of land within state park and recreation areas. These funds purchased 457.03 acres of land in the following 7 state parks: Crow Wing, Forestville, Gooseberry, Lac qui Parle, Split Rock Creek, Tettegouche, and William O'Brien.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $3,500,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 4a).

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State Trail Rehabilitation and Acquisition
Subd. 04c    $250,000 TF

Thomas R. Danger
Trails and Waterways Unit
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4052

Phone:  (651) 296-4782

This program contributed to the acquisition and development of state trails as well as rehabilitating trails already in existence to correct safety problems.

This appropriation from the TF was used to continue and/or complete the rehabilitation of two existing trails:

  1. The Luce Line State Trail; and
  2. The Heartland State Trail.

Funds were allocated to continue the rehabilitation of bridges and culverts on a 29 mile section of the Luce Line trail between Plymouth and Winstead, and to complete bituminous rehabilitation of 28 miles of the Heartland trail between Park Rapids and Walker.

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Water Access
Subd. 04d    $600,000 TF

Michael T. Markell
Trails and Waterways Unit
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4052

Phone:  (651) 296-6413

This appropriation funded the acquisition and development of public water access statewide, including boating access, fishing piers, and shoreline access. Five access sites and three shore fishing sites were constructed, and seven fishing piers were installed. Access sites generally contained a boat launch ramp, parking for car-trailers, an entrance road, and signage. Shore fishing sites contain parking, accessible walkways to the lake and shoreline improvements to make access easier for fishing.

The project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $355,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17o.) And $350,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17p.)

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Local Natural Resource Grants
Subd. 04e    $1,800,000 FRF / $895,000 (M.L. 1996, Chp. 407, Sec. 8, Subd. 3c)

Wayne Sames
Office of Planning
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4010

Phone:  (651) 296-1567
Fax:  (651) 296-6047

This matching grant program assisted local governments and/or private organizations in acquisitions and development of outdoor recreation areas, trails, natural areas, scenic resources, and fish and wildlife habitat and will help private organizations conduct surveys and research on fish and wildlife. The five different grant programs are:

  1. Local Park Grants
  2. Natural and Scenic Grants
  3. Conservation Partners Grants
  4. Environmental Partnership Grants
  5. Cooperative Trail Grants

Emphasis is placed on coordinated efforts and grants will be made to those proposals that further a partnership approach involving both state and local governments and the private sector to help meet both outdoor recreation and natural resource protection needs of the state. This program receives funds from not only the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund (TF) and the Minnesota Future Resources Fund (FRF), but from state bonding and the general fund as well.

The two appropriations produced the following results:

  1. Local Park Grants - $500,000 of the 1995 appropriation funded 19 projects and were matched with at least $500,000 in local match; $665,000 of the 1996 appropriation funded 20 projects and were matched with at least $665,000 in local match;
  2. Natural and Scenic Area Grants - $500,000 of the 1995 appropriation funded 7 projects which helped acquire over 208 acres of natural and scenic land;
  3. Conservation Partners Grants - $400,000 of the 1995 appropriation and $100,000 of the 1996 appropriation funded 77 habitat enhancement, research and educational projects throughout the state and were matched by at least $500,000 in local resources; and
  4. Cooperative Trail Grants - $400,000 of the 1995 appropriation and $130,000 of the 1996 appropriation were spent on grants in this subheading.

For more specific information concerning on individual projects funded through the TF or the FRF, please contact the program manager. This project received an extension and was completed by June 30, 1998.

The project also continued into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $2,900,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 4c.)

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Minneapolis Park and Trail Connections
Subd. 04f    $141,000 FRF

Albert D. Wittman
Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board
200 Grain Exchange
400 S. 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1400

Phone:  (612) 661-4777

This project proposed to develop trail connections along the Mississippi Riverfront, providing greater access by urban and suburban residents to the Mississippi River and other regional parks. The proposed trail connections included:

  1. A bicycle trail from Minnehaha Park to Historic Fort Snelling and the Mendota Bridge;
  2. A trail along the West River Parkway from the Stone Arch Bridge to Bridge 9;
  3. An East River Road Trail Connection with Anoka County Parks linking Boom Island to St. Anthony Parkway; and
  4. A West River Parkway Trail Connection with North Mississippi Regional Park, Phase I, linking the West River Parkway to Shingle Creek Parkway Phase I.

None of these proposed trail connections, however, were developed. Proposed trails #1 and #3 were unable to obtain ISTEA matching dollars. Proposed trails #2 and #4 did receive an ISTEA match, but these funds were not available until 1999, approximately two years after the scheduled completion date for this project. Therefore, MPRB was unable to start any of the trails identified above, and the project was withdrawn.

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Local Share for ISTEA Federal Projects
Subd. 04g    $300,000 OOC

This appropriation was for matching funds for two trail projects.


Laird Mork
Chisago County
38694 Tanger Drive
North Branch, MN 55056

Phone:  (612) 674-8919

This appropriation provided half of the non-federal match requirement for the ISTEA project: Sunrise Prairie Trail. The trail constructed was a 15 mile, 10 foot wide paved multiuse trail connecting North Branch and the Chisago/Washington County line. The project included development of parking and rest areas in North Branch, Stacy, and Wyoming. Completed in the fall of 1997, this trail now provides for a multiple of recreation uses, an opportunity to use bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation along a significant commuter route, and a potential opportunity to connect the Twin Cities and Duluth as part of the Willard Munger Trail.

2.) MESABI TRAIL $150,000

Bob Manzoline
St. Louis & Lake Ctny Reg. Rail Auth.
801 SW Hwy 169, PO Box 627
Chisholm, MN 55719

Phone:  (218) 254-2575
Fax:  (218) 254-7972

This appropriation provides for the development of 4 segments of a 132 mile multipurpose recreational trail system connecting 22 Iron Range communities. Segments to be completed include: Quad City Segment; Hibbing/Chisholm/Buhl Segment; Tower/Ely Segment; East Range Segment.

This project has received an extension and is due to be completed by June 30, 1999. The project will also continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $600,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 18a.)

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Pine Point Park Rest Station
Subd. 04h    $100,000 FRF / $30,000 Nonstate Match

James Luger
Washington County
11660 Myeron Road North
Stillwater, MN 55082

Phone:  (612)430-4325
Fax:  (612) 430-4350

Washington County Parks, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Trail and Waterways Unit, completed construction of a handicap accessible toilet building, drinking fountain, and picnic area adjacent to the existing parking lot in Pine Point Park, a Washington County park. These facilities now provide a major rest stop in the larger metropolitan system by directly serving both the Willard Munger State Trail, which bisects Pine Point Park, and the extensive existing County trail system.

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Interactive Multi-Media Computer Information System
Subd. 04i    $45,000 FRF

Thomas L. Peterson
Explore Lake County, Inc.
Route 1, Box 287-B
Two Harbors, MN 55616

Phone:  (218) 834-2643

Funds from this project were used to develop an interactive web page for Lake County which provides individualized information to visitors on facilities and attractions in the area. Funds were also used to purchase a Kiosk for the R.J. Houle Visitor Information Center in Two Harbors, MN. This Kiosk allows the visitor in Two Harbors to view the web page without actually going on line, thereby extending the audience which is able to access the information gathered for this project. In the future, each of the facilities and attractions whose data is disseminated on the Kiosk and web site will be asked to develop and link their own web sites, providing an even richer base of information for those seeking information about Lake County.

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Upper Sioux Agency State Park
Subd. 04j    $200,000 FRF

John Strohkirch
DNR, State Park and Development and Acquisition Manager
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4039

Phone:  (651) 296-8289

Appropriation added by the 1995 Legislature to the LCMR Recommendations

Appropriation funds were used to construct a new bathroom/shower facility in the campground unit at Upper Sioux Agency State Park.

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Grain Belt Mississippi Riverfront Development
Subd. 04k    $500,000 FRF

Bob Mattson
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
200 Grain Exchange
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1400

Appropriation added by the 1995 Legislature to the LCMR Recommendations

This appropriation funded the acquisition of 2.32 acres of land, including 1000 feet of shoreline on the Mississippi River, at the Grain Belt site located on the east bank of the Mississippi. After acquisition, the buildings on the property were demolished and the site cleared and restored to an environmentally acceptable condition. Future plans call for the improvement of the site as a riverfront amenity with trails in conjunction with the Grain Belt redevelopment by the Minneapolis Community Development Agency (MCDA.)

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Wildcat Regional Park
Subd. 04l    $40,000 FRF

Michael T. Markell
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Trails and Waterways Unit
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4052

Phone:  (651) 296-6413
Fax:  (651) 297-5475

Appropriation added by the 1995 Legislature to the LCMR Recommendations

The project represents a cooperative agreement with Houston County to construct an off-channel boat launch ramp, with protection from the main channel, on the Mississippi river. The county constructed launch ramps in 1995, access to the ramps and shoreline protection around the ramp in 1996, and dock facilities in the summer of 1997. This site is listed on the water access maps published by the DNR.

Subd. 05   Management Approaches

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Local River Planning - Continuation
Subd. 05a    $140,000 FRF

Steven P. Johnson
DNR Division of Waters
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4032

Phone:  (651) 296-4802

This program was a three-biennium project to assist counties statewide in developing comprehensive plans for the management and protection of rivers by providing grants for up to two-thirds of the cost.

Local governments and citizen steering committees identified the individual management needs for each river through a scoping process that involved all stakeholders along the river. These plans addressed locally identified issues to a specific river while maintaining consistency with state floodplain and shoreland laws and local water plans. Management plans have been completed for the Littlefork, Rat Root, Vermilion, Middle, Roseau, Snake, Long Prairie, Zumbro rivers and Minneopa Creek. Plans begun and completed in this biennium included the Long Prairie, Zumbro rivers and Minneopa Creek. Implementation of plan recommendations has already begun on some level for each of these three projects.

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Cannon River Watershed Strategic Plan: Integrated Management
Subd. 05b    $80,000 FRF / $245,000 TF / $81,000 Nonstate Match

Allene Moesler
Cannon River Watershed Partnership
1325 Armstrong Road, Suite 118
Northfield, MN 55057

Phone:  (507) 645-7094
Fax:  (507) 645-5921

This appropriation to the Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) was used to implement the strategic plan of the CRWP through community organizing, community learning opportunities, and projects focusing on the protection of water quality and biodiversity in the Cannon River watershed. The expectation was that empowering citizens with information and resources would result in public participation and local leadership of community organizations.

Within the Cannon River watershed, three subwatersheds were selected for initiative development:

  1. Little Cannon River;
  2. Prairie Creek; and
  3. Fox/Circle Lakes and Wolf Creek.

This project also supported additional activities which reduced non-point pollution and protected or restored native habitats on these watersheds through matching grants and technical assistance. Objectives focused on included stream corridor stabilization projects, agricultural nutrient management, protection of biologically sensitive areas, and forest stewardship plans.

Accomplishments of this appropriation include, but are not limited to, the following results:

  • Approximately 3,000 people received training or information about resource protection.
  • Consistent citizen participation on steering and project selection committees.
  • The Circle Lake Association was formed, and already has addressed several priority issues.
  • 8 neighboring families on Fox Lake agreed to do shoreline repairs along 1,000 feet of shoreline.
  • A 2,000' project to reduce erosion on the Little Cannon River was installed.
  • Stewardship plans were done for 124 sites totaling 9,013 acres.
  • Big Woods, prairie and oak savanna transition sites were established at River Bend Nature Center. Trails, signs and curricula were developed to interpret the site.
  • 480 acres were planted to native trees; 90 acres restored to prairie. In addition, students and volunteers planted 11,500 trees in the Big Woods Project area.

The project continues into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $350,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17b.)

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Tri-County Leach Lake Watershed Project
Subd. 05c    $300,000 FRF

Wally Christensen
Box 1675
Hackensack, MN 56452

Phone:  (218) 682-2578

The Tri-County Leech Lake Watershed Project had three objectives. This project planned to:

  1. Increase environmental awareness and organize public involvement in order to guide the use and development of natural resources in the watershed;
  2. Develop and complete cooperative pilot projects demonstrating innovative, cost-effective designs and integrated management approaches; and
  3. Establish baseline data for sustainable resource management in the midst of a high-growth area.

To reach these goals, TCLLWP was directed by a coalition of diverse local committees which created an efficient balance between available, public-sector technical assistance and a practical, private-sector understanding of local needs, politics and resources. TCLLWP also illustrated conservation practices through pilot projects for public outreach and cumulative implementation of conservation measures. This project-driven approach provided the public with the tangible results it wanted.

Project results, which covered a wide spectrum of activities, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Completion of a project video, public service announcements and news releases;
  2. A co-op erosion control project;
  3. Education and teacher programs;
  4. Fenced off 3 miles of critical stream habitat in pasture land;
  5. Completed 6 co-op urban water runoff plans;
  6. Began cooperative comprehensive recreation plan;
  7. Completed TCLLWP strategic plan; and
  8. Leveraged over $1 million in grant funds.

Projects take time to develop, and the TCLLWP has had a good start and envisions being very effective in protecting the outstanding resources of the watershed.

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Blufflands Landscape
Subd. 05d    $630,000 TF/FRF / $50,000 Nonstate Match

Larry Gates
2300 Silver Creek Road NE
Rochester, MN 55906

Phone:  (507) 285-7427

There were three major recipients of funding within this project. The project's three complementary components were conducted by the Department of Natural Resources, the Historic Bluff Country in Fillmore and Houston counties, and the Winona County/La Crescent Area Common Vision project. Funding provided for a Blufflands Coordinator position at DNR, which helped provide technical assistance and guidance in workshops. Projects included developers, contractors and realtors workshops, an Oak Savanna Conference, development of conservation overlay districts, bluffland ordinances, open space zoning and a project based on citizens participation in ecological research. The Coordinator participated in the implementation of the complementary project in Fillmore, Houston and Winona Counties.

In Fillmore and Houston Counties, residents participated in the gathering and reviewing of information and problem solving which were incorporated into a written Common Vision for the two county area plus 31 recommendations for detailed actions. The project provided the opportunity for the review of several growth management and development tools to help evaluate actions balancing between development and conservation.

In Winona County, the project is providing information for the update of the comprehensive land use plan and a Bluffland Design Manual. The Manual was developed to guide the understanding of the complexity of various land use issues and will be used to help coordinate city, county and townships land planning concerns. Copies of the Manual are available at state and local government offices and libraries. The LCMR has additional photocopies of the manual available.

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Glacial Lake Agassiz Beach Ridges: Mining and Protection
Subd. 05e    $85,000 FRF

Cindy Buttleman
DNR Minerals Division
2115 Birchmont Beach Road NE
Bemidji, MN 56601

Phone:  (218) 755-4067
Fax:  (218) 755-4024

The intent of this appropriation was to coordinate a long-term plan for the beach ridges in Clay county that balances protection of native prairies with a sustainable aggregate industry. The project had three objectives. The first was to develop a long-term plan for the beach ridges through a local Forum. This Forum hosted many events over the past two years, and under the local leadership of the Steering Committee, produced a final report containing a comprehensive slate of recommendations. The final report and recommendations, in conjunction with preliminary work on implementing some of the recommendations, constitutes the County's plan for the future.

The second objective was to integrate existing natural resource information for Clay County into a customized geographic information system. Numerous existing digital datasets were collected and put into a format that could be used in combination with other datasets. These datasets together with data documentation, a demo, users' guide and selected maps were then captured on a CD-ROM that was installed on a computer in a regional library, a science center and the courthouse. This is one of the first projects in the state to use GIS technology in a public setting.

The final objective was for the project to have an outreach component to involve and inform the public about the project and the values of the beach ridges of Clay County. These projects were to be summarized in different ways for future use by a full range of the public. Some of the informational products developed by the Forum include:

  1. Computerized resource information on CD-ROM;
  2. Map displays;
  3. A coloring book distributed on Earth Day;
  4. An information handbook;
  5. The final report with recommendations; and
  6. A video.

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Atmospheric Mercury Emissions, Deposition, and Environmental Cost Evaluation
Subd. 05f    $575,000 FRF

Edward B. Swain
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-7800


This appropriation is for a mercury emissions inventory and quantification of mercury atmospheric deposition. The project will examine additional information on sources of mercury in the atmosphere such as taconite processing and wood combustion which are not being studied nationally, how far mercury is transported away from sources before it is deposited, and the economic benefits of reducing mercury deposition. There will be an emphasis placed on mercury deposition in soil as a secondary source of mercury back to the atmosphere and as a source to lakes. $50,000 is for an evaluation of the external costs of mercury emissions from Minnesota sources.

This project received an extension and was due to be completed by June 30, 1998. As of November 11, 1998 the final report is pending completion of data analysis.

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Mercury Deposition and Lake Quality Trends
Subd. 05g    $250,000 FRF/GLP

Dr. George R. Rapp Jr.
Univ. of Minnesota Duluth
Archaeometry Laboratory
214 Research Lab Bldg.
10 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812-2496


Mercury wet deposition was monitored at six Minnesota sites for a period of six years, 1990-1995. The three northernmost sites had significantly less mercury deposition than the more urban southern sites. The overall annual average of wet mercury deposition was 7.4 ug/m2, +/- 2.1 s.d., and ranged from 3.4 to 10.9 ug/m2 for n = 36. The relationship of mercury wet deposition versus year showed an increase of 0.59 ug/m2yr, +/- 0.18 s.e. (about an 8% increase per year over the 6 yr period), and had a significant positive correlation at 99+% confidence. Methylmercury deposition, measured in 36 weekly samples, averaged about 0.18 ng/L in rain and strongly correlated with depositions of total mercury and major ions, and precipitation depth. Quarterly mercury depositions showed a significant positive correlation with mercury emissions calculated from coal consumption for states in the region.

Water quality and fish sampling were conducted on eighty Minnesota lakes over the two year period, 1995-96. Samples of surface water and northern pike and/or walleye specimens (10 or more fish, over a range of desired sizes) were obtained from each lake. More than 1,400 mercury analyses were performed to make quantitative comparisons with fish data obtained previously from the same lakes up to 20 years earlier.

The results indicate that out of 80 study lakes, 75 had sufficient past residue data for statistical comparisons. Of those, 43 lakes (57%) show lower fish mercury levels for recent data compared to those reported previously, 19 lakes (25%) show greater mercury concentrations, and 13 lakes (17%) show no significant difference.

Lakes having fish with less mercury in the fillet with skin, show average differences for northern pike of 213 ng Hg/g (a 36% difference) and for walleye, 268 ng Hg/g (a 30% difference). For lakes showing more mercury in the fish fillet with skin, the average differences are 165 ng Hg/g (a 53% difference) for northern pike, and 165 ng Hg/g (a 72% difference) for walleye.

Water quality data analyses, comparing past and present measurements, show significant average increases within season (fall or spring) in pH (+0.2, +0.3) and alkalinity (+19, +37 ueq/L) accompanied by a decrease (-1.2, -1.5 mg/L) in sulfate concentrations. These trends are in agreement with observed trends in wet sulfate deposition which have been steadily decreasing for over a decade since state regulatory control measures were enacted in 1985.

Watershed factors influence the differing trends in mercury residue levels. Fish mercury concentrations show positive correlations with water color, methylmercury concentrations, and plankton mercury, and negative correlations with pH and alkalinity. In general, reservoir lakes showed decreases in fish mercury, while small lakes and lakes with high watershed to lake area ratios showed increases in fish mercury. Recommendations are made. As of November 11, 1998 the final report is pending completion of data analysis.

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Feedlot and Manure Management Practices Assistance
Subd. 05h    $200,000 FRF

Gerald F. Heil
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
90 West Plato Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55107

Phone:  (651) 296-1486


These funds were used to address two objectives. The first objective was to determine the impact of manure integration within a conservation tillage system on water quality since direct entry of surface runoff into tile inlets in Southern Minnesota contributes to the non-point source pollution in the Minnesota River. Snow melt was found to be the major source of runoff, with its associated losses of nutrients (N and P) and oxygen-sink chemicals (COD) entering tile inlets. Sediment loss in the snow melt, however, was found to be negligible with little practical impact. Baseline data for rainfall runoff between watersheds is pending, since rainfall runoff monitoring was continued to the 1997 growing season.

The second objective was to evaluate the potential for amelioration of manure effluent utilizing constructed earthen basins since dairy farms in SE Minnesota often have a strong positive nitrogen balance. The occurrence and amounts of gaseous nitrogen losses from a liquid manure management system with recycled flush water were investigated on a dairy farm in Winona County with 150 to 165 cows. N-losses to the atmosphere from manure storages reduce the amount of nitrogen that needs to be land applied, thereby reducing possible excess fertilization, which could lead to water pollution. Such losses are desirable if they occur through denitification. At this site, the prevailing mode of nitrogen loss was found to be ammonia volatilization. Denitrification losses were negligible.

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Water Quality Impacts of Feedlot Pollution Control Systems
Subd. 05i    $300,000 FRF / $267,000 Nonstate Match

David Wall
MPCA-Division of Water Quality
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-8440


Two main components of the project were completed:

  1. Analysis of the treatment of cattle-feedlot runoff with grass filter strips at two sites in Minnesota, and
  2. The monitoring of earthen manure storage system seepage.

Final reports for this project, done in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, will be completed in December 1998 with peer review conducted by the Survey in early 1999.

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Shoreland Septic Inventory and Education
Subd. 05j    $145,000 FRF

Beth Kluthe
Hubbard County Environmental Services
301 Court Street
Park Rapids, MN 56470


The Mantrap Watershed consists of 17 lake complexes and is of prime economic and recreational importance to the area. The primary objective of this project was for the Hubbard County Environmental Services Office to inventory all shoreland areas in the watershed to identify failing septic systems. Property owners were required to upgrade failing septic systems within one year of notification. Currently, the entire shoreland area of the Mantrap Watershed has been inventoried. 1062 properties were targeted for an onsite review including 625 septic systems which were determined to be failing. Property owners were notified upgrades were required within 12 months. The end result of the project will be 100% compliance with shoreland septic systems. A second objective involved establishing an education program to inform property owners of the problems associated with failing septic systems, proper maintenance and use of septic systems and recommendations for water conservation. Fact sheets were developed to aid in this effort. Education materials were mailed to the original 1062 properties targeted for onsite review. Additional materials were sent to those properties found to have failing septic systems. The format of this program has been shared with other local units of government and at numerous lake-association meetings. Both Crow Wing County and the Tri-County Leech Lake Project have initiated similar inventory programs.

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Alternative Individual Sewage Treatment Systems Development and Demonstration
Subd. 05k    $425,000 FRF

Gretchen Sabel
MPCA-Water Quality Division
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-7574


Twenty seven percent of Minnesota residents rely on Individual Sewage Treatment Systems (ISTSs). However, conventional ISTSs are not effective in adequately removing nitrogen in geologically sensitive areas. In areas with high water tables, the only ISTS option available is a costly mound system. This project represents a university/multi-industry/local, state, and federal agency effort to design, construct and monitor the performance of alternative and cluster treatment systems in these restrictive site and soil conditions. Two study sites were chosen, located at the NE Correctional Facility near Duluth and adjacent to Lake Washington, approximately 10 miles NE of Mankato. Seven alternative systems were installed at these two sites, including submerged bed constructed wetlands, peat filters, intermittent sand filters, drainfield trenches, an aerobic treatment unit, a drip irrigation system and a recirculating sand filter. In addition, monitoring at five existing ISTSs near Beauford, MN was continued, including soil treatment trenches with artificial drainage and a sewage treatment mound system. The goal was to design these systems to treat septic tank sewage to meet secondary treatment standards for total suspended solids (TSS), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), and fecal coliform bacteria.

Initial monitoring results were encouraging with good removal efficiencies for all systems. The gravity peat filter design criteria appeared flawed since there have been two system failures. These systems will be reconstructed and different loading rates evaluated. The other systems will continue to be monitored for the next two years under an additional appropriation from the LCMR to gain information on their long-term ability to treat septic tank sewage.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $500,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 6a.)

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Pathways to Sustainable Development
Subd. 05l    $200,000 TF

John R. Wells
Environmental Quality Board
300 Centennial Building
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-2377

The Pathways to Sustainable Development Project identified and assessed barriers to sustainable development in the areas of energy, manufacturing and settlement. The project explored instances where the current public policies create unintended, negative effects for Minnesota's economy, environment or communities. Barriers identified include such things as information policy, public incentives and subsidies, state and federal regulation, publicly managed resources, coordination and performance measurement, market incentives. These broad policy findings were drawn from policy research developed in reports, briefing papers and mapping projects.

Briefing papers were prepared in several policy areas including energy, manufacturing, settlement, carbon taxes, and public incentives for businesses in Minnesota. Each briefing paper provides background on trends and issues in these areas as well as summaries of focus group comments on barriers to sustainable development. Briefing papers served as background to the selection of policy research reports. Reports completed under the project include:

  1. Brownfields: An opportunity for Sustainable Development
  2. Fiscal Patterns and Population Trends
  3. Minnesota Policies Affecting Residential Development
  4. Minnesota Directory of Sustainable Development

For further project information, or to obtain copies of the reports, contact the Environmental Quality Board at: Minnesota Planning, Sustainable Development Initiative, 685 Cedar St, St. Paul, MN 55155.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $250,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 12g.)

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Upper Mississippi River Protection Project
Subd. 05m    $200,000 FRF / $100,000 Nonstate Match

Theresa Eclov
Mississippi Headwaters Board
P.O. Box 3000
Cass County Courthouse
Walker, MN 56484

Phone:  (218) 547-7263
Fax:  (218) 547-7376

Gary Oberts
Metropolitan Council
230 E. 5th Street
St. Paul, MN 5501

Phone:  (651) 602-1079
Fax:  (651) 229-2071

This project was proposed jointly by the Metropolitan Council and the Mississippi Headwaters Board on behalf of the River Defense Network and the Mississippi River Watch Project. The project built on two activities: 1) a cooperative venture to more effectively prevent spills and respond to them when they occur, involving private and public entities and a network of first responders from the Headwaters to the Twin Cities; and 2) the Mississippi Headwaters River Watch Project, an ambient water quality monitoring and protection program, established in 1990 on the first 400 miles of the river.

Funds were used to match funding by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' funds and were used to refine the Corps of Engineers' Rivers in Emergency Management Model (REMM), to assess spill hazards on the upper Mississippi River, to study spill response equipment needs, and for cooperative studies to produce a spill prevention and response manual, Mississippi Defense Network Spill Response Manual. The remaining funds were used by River Watch Project participants to produce a river quality education program, an educational curriculum, and a workbook describing activities that educators can use to protect the river. These materials were presented at several workshops and distributed to approximately 225 teachers and participants for evaluation prior to a final printing of these materials in December, 1997. These products and activities generated as a result of this project will help communities implement spill prevention and response programs for the river. Educational materials will help build a body of information about water quality of the river and related tributaries.

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Forest Management to Maintain Structural and Species Diversity
Subd. 05n    $160,000 TF

Kurt A. Rusterholz
Box 7
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-7265


The overall goal of this project was to develop initial, site-based silvicultural guidelines that will maintain the structural and compositional aspect of diversity on commercial forests in eastcentral Minnesota. This goal was achieved by using the LINKAGES forest growth and harvesting model to simulate and evaluate a variety of silvicultural practices on common soil types and under condition of the current climate as compared to conditions predicted for climate change over the next 400 years. A total of 57 LINKAGES simulations were made. Assuming no change in climate over the next 400 years, partial cutting management scenarios which allow a maximum removal of 30% basal area every 10-20 years would maintain a high-quality northern hardwoods cover type and compatible commodity timber production, in the Nemadji State Forest, on the soil types examined. However, under climate change conditions the forest cover type does not persist and therefore, no commodity production is possible. These results demonstrate that guidelines based on average stands on average soils are inadequate for making the best management decisions at the stand level. This is especially true in the face of increased demand on forested lands coupled with potential effects of climate change.

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Accelerated Native Grass and Forbs on Road Rights-of-Way
Subd. 05o    $150,000 TF

Catherine Fouchi
MN DNR Wildlife
Box 756, Hwy. 15 S.
New Ulm, MN 56073-0756

Phone:  (507)-389-6257

The goal of this project was to accelerate the acceptance and implementation of integrated roadside resource management techniques which meet transportation needs while protecting and improving local biological diversity. This was accomplished by the establishment and management of native plants in roadsides. A total of 16 projects covering 358 acres in 12 different counties were planted with native grasses and forbs. Approximately $60,000 was leveraged from other sources to help pay for the native grass plantings.

The project goal was also met by providing specialized equipment and training sessions for road authorities to encourage the use of prescribed burning for managing native roadside plantings. One formal burn school was conducted. Informal training sessions occurred during the burning of 278 acres of roadside prairies on 16 different sites alongside highway 56 in SE Minnesota. As a result, the acreage of sites managed through prescribed burning was increased by 10% from previous years and additional training requests have been received by county and state highway officials.

Equipment purchased by project funds are now located in western, central, eastern, and south-central Minnesota and continue to be used by a variety of State and non-state agencies for the purposes specified in this project.

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Accelerate Landscape Management Activities in Whitewater Watershed
Subd. 05p    $60,000 FRF

Jon Cole
Whitewater Wildlife Management Area
RR2, Box 33
Altura, MN 55910

Phone:  (507) 932-4133

The objective of this project was to efficiently accelerate landscape management activities in the Whitewater Watershed through an inter-discipline/agency team and applying the Integrated Resource Management (IRM) concept. These funds were used to extend the work season for five seasonal employees. These individuals worked across disciplinary lines completing projects for fisheries, forestry, wildlife and parks. While also reducing unemployment costs, fleet costs, and generating $42,500 in savings to disciplines outside of Whitewater.

This project demonstrated that interdisciplinary teams, when located in the same geographic area, could dramatically increase the efficiency of each individual work station and cooperative projects within that geographic area.

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Sustainable Grassland Conservation and Utilization
Subd. 05q    $125,000 FRF

Peter Buesseler
1221 E. Fir Ave.
Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Phone:  (218) 739-7497
Fax:  (218) 739-7601

The decline of grass and forage based agriculture, and the upcoming end of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has been a cause of concern for the Glacial Lake Agassiz Beach Ridges area. This project offered an opportunity to let landowners and communities voice their concern, put "sustainable development" into operation and learn how agencies and programs can best assist them in that effort.

The project had three objectives. The first was to organize local landscape workgroups to explore and develop integrated strategies for addressing key issues such as, "the future of CRP lands" and "protection of biodiversity." A 25 member steering group and 4 citizen panels completed the report "Two Futures: Citizens Define Ways to Manage Glacial Lake Agassiz Ecosystems" and a discussion guide and moderator's handbook for use by other communities and organizations involved with addressing similar issues.

The second objective was to implement integrated, cooperative projects targeted to the specific needs of the pilot prairie/farmland landscape. This objective was delivered through a partnership with the Resource Conservation and Development Councils serving the area which enabled the leverage of an additional $50,000 from USDA/NRCS. Nineteen separate projects were completed, including but not limited to on-farm demonstrations, community education activities, and cooperative resource assessments.

The final objective was to evaluate both individual landowner and lender implications of post-CRP and other grassland management decisions. This study suggests that while there may be farm-specific grass-based systems that are financially superior to current management returns, the expansion of grass-based systems will remain particular to individual farms. A one-size-fits-all system is unlikely to be found.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $125,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 7d.)

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Developing, Evaluating and Promoting Sustainable Farming Systems
Subd. 05r    $225,000 FRF / $50,000 Nonstate Match

Shelly Eckblad
Whitewater Joint Powers Board
1485 Industrial Drive NW, Room #102
Rochester, MN 55901

Phone:  (507) 280-2850

This appropriation provided for the development and evaluation of farming systems for impacts on ecosystems, profitability, and quality of life through on-farm research, experiment station research, watershed demonstration farms, and education. Objectives included: develop and test indicators that can be used by farmers for monitoring impacts on their farm ecosystem, economics, and social well-being, develop and implement farm management systems that meet farm operators' goals and those set by the Whitewater Watershed for sustaining area ecosystems, and promote sustainable agricultural systems through educational materials and programs.

The Monitoring Team completed three years of research and education designed to test a process of on-farm observation and interaction that brings together farmers and other professionals. The project has focused on farms in transition to Management Intensive Grazing (MIG).

A self-guided tour is completed and marked by a roadside pullover, signs, and brochures. It is located near Whitewater State Park and is open to the public. The park is including it in their Whitewater Valley Points of Interest map, which is handed out to park visitors. In addition, Public education via presentations on the Whitewater Watershed, including the LCMR-funded Demonstration Farms, is a continuing process that has reached over 10,000 people.

This project received an extension and was completed June 30, 1998.

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Cooperatives to Promote Sustainable Agricultural Practices and Research
Subd. 05s    $100,000 FRF / $50,000 Nonstate Match

Tim King
Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota
RR2, Box 178A
Box 178A, Long Prairie, MN 56347

Phone:  (320) 732-6203

The key objectives of this project were to promote adoption of farming practices that are environmentally and economically sound by strengthening the education networks of the Sustainable Farming Association (SFA). One hundred and fifteen workshops, field days, pasture walks and annual meetings featuring many aspects of farming practices that are environmentally sound were put on by SFA chapters and the State SFA during the past two years. These programs were delivered to over 6,000 people across Minnesota. The University of Minnesota's Southwest Experimental Station was a co-sponsor of one of the on-farm demonstrations. The event focused on runoff from pastures into waterways. Two new chapters of the SFA were formed in Coteau Ridge and the Princeton area, increasing membership from 800 families to a current level of approximately 1000 families, and the groundwork was established for two additional chapters. Independent research has indicated that SFA members have benefited from improved relationships with major institutions and are more likely to adapt more environmentally friendly agricultural practices.

A second project objective was to develop a cooperative network and conduct complementary on-farm and Southwest Experiment Station research to advance the development and use of sustainable farming practices. Development of this network of farmers and researchers proved to be a challenge. Researchers have traditionally treated members of communities and organizations as passive subjects. During this project, a more holistic approach called Participatory Action Research (PAR) evolved in which members of the group of interest are actively engaged as important, essential partners in the quest for knowledge. SFA initiated 12 such conversations with farmers in southwest Minnesota on topics concerning their soil management, history and observations. The results of these activities are presented in the report Participatory Action Research: Redefining the Relationship between Scientist, Farmer, and the Land. They will also be published in a Master of Science Thesis at the University of Minnesota.

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Recycled Biosolids Product used to Reclaim Disturbed Areas
Subd. 05t    $200,000 OOC

Kathryn J. Draeger
N-Viro Minnesota
Power Plant Aggregates of Iowa
904 St. Paul Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55116

Phone:  (651) 690- 9668


This project proposed the development of disturbed landscape reclamation methodology using native plant mixes, nitrogen-fixing bacteria and N-Viro Soil, a treated sewage sludge and recycled biosolids product. Results indicated that N-Viro Soil proved to be more effective than topsoil and fertilizer in reclamation efforts. N-Viro Soil showed increases in valuable plant nutrient (N, P, and K), organic content of the soil, and vegetative establishment, and a reduction in visible signs of erosion. As a result, plant biomass and percent cover were highest in N-Viro Soil treated areas. The study also identified four strains of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which promote equal, or greater plant growth than those present in recommended commercial inoculates. The University of Minnesota is working with MnDOT to continue studies in this area. Finally, a handbook has been developed which outlines the principles for disturbed landscape reclamation using N-Viro Soil. This publication is available to the public.

Subd. 06   Environmental Education

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Leopold Education Project Curriculum
Subd. 06a    $100,000 TF / $50,000 Nonstate Match

Russell W. Sewell
Pheasants Forever
P.O. Box 75473
St. Paul, MN 55175

Phone:  (651) 773-2000
Fax:  (612) 773-5500

The Leopold Education Project (LEP) is an innovative, interdisciplinary conservation ethics curriculum targeted for grades 6 through 12. It involves the use of three primary areas of reflective and reasonable learning including; content knowledge, creative thinking, and critical thinking and leads to an ecologically literate citizenry. Funding for this project resulted in 232 Minnesota educators being directly trained in the curriculum of the LEP. In addition, educators from all geographic areas of the state received materials and training that not only allow them to use the curriculum within their general educational setting, but to share it with their peers by conducting their own LEP in-service workshop. While the number of students reached with this project has not been quantified, it has the potential to reach each and every student in the state.

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Environmental Education Teacher Training
Subd. 06b    $500,000 TF

Pam Landers
Environmental Education Advisory Board
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (218) 568-8288

This project developed and put in place a statewide, coordinated, environmental education training program for both current teachers and students in teacher education programs. Ten universities chose to participate in this project. They are Bemidji State University, Concordia College, Hamline University, Mankato State University, Moorhead State University, St. Cloud State University, University of Minnesota, Duluth, University of Minnesota, Morris, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and Winona State University. Individual teams from each of the participating institutions fully developed courses in environmental education teacher training which were approved by the program manager. These courses integrated goals and standards initially agreed upon by higher education representatives, teachers, and other major EE deliverers. Nine of the institutions conducted their courses during the Summer of 1996, reaching 207 Minnesota teachers. Winona State University held its first session in June of 1997 with an expected 25 teachers attending. The LCMR granted the Teacher Preparation Project an extension to allow participating higher education institutions to complete additional teacher preparation classes. The extension allowed an estimated additional 130 teachers to be trained. Seven of the institutions have permanently installed the courses in their offerings. All ten have incorporated the course content into existing courses.

The project was requested to make presentations to the North American Association for Environmental Education, the National Environmental Education Advancement Project, the Pennsylvania Office of Environmental Education, and the Pew Charitable Trusts Education and Environment Roundtable. The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation was convinced enough of the project's value to support an amendment to the 1999 national K-12 legislation that would provide grants to states to carry out similar projects. Minnesota would be eligible to apply for such a grant.

This project received an extension and was completed by June 30, 1998.

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Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge
Subd. 06c    $200,000 TF

Denise M. Stromme
Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 215-0265
Fax:  (651) 215-0229

The goal of this project was to plan and develop SEEK (Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge), an information exchange and service center that coordinates the collection, evaluation, dissemination and promotion of environmental education (EE) resources and programs. SEEK first debuted in April of 1996 and is considered a first-stop source for those wanting to distribute or find EE resources. As of June 1997, SEEK had 93 Contributors (agencies, organizations, etc.) dedicated to sharing their EE resources and information through the web site, and has had over 362,000 requests for information. The SEEK web site has flourished and will continue to evolve with minor adjustments due to the constant change in technology, in the involvement of a large number of Contributors and SEEKers, and in the needs of educators and environmental education deliverers across the state.

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Environmental Video Resource Library and Public Television Series
Subd. 06d    $250,000 FRF

Elizabeth Carey
Twin Cities Public Television
172 E. Fourth Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone:  (651) 229-1347
Fax:  (651) 229-1281

This project funded the production and broadcast of The E Connection, an environmental television series about Minnesota environmental achievements. Five half-hour programs were produced. Each program contained four stories on Minnesota's environment, natural resources and the people involved in the environment. The programs aired on Minnesota Public Television stations in the Twin Cities, Duluth, Fargo/Moorehead, Appleton, and Austin and have been re-run at least once on each of these stations. Fifteen of the stories have also been packaged as individual program fillers made available to Public Television stations nationwide. To accompany the series, teacher's guides for all of the programs were created and workshops offered to alert teachers about the series. A permanent web site has also been established ( Included in this site is further information about the series and environmental videos, and the E Connection teacher's guide.

In addition to The E Connection, four Newton's Apple segments focusing on ethanol, wetlands, deformed frogs, and kids environmental archaeology were co-produced and were part of the Newton's Apple national PBS broadcast. Five stories were co-produced with, and broadcast on, NewsNight Minnesota (NNM), which is carried on all the Minnesota Public Television stations. Finally, as part of an outreach effort, an 8 minute training tape was produced to teach the viewer some of the basic functions of the SEEK (Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge) database.

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Development, Assimilation and Distribution of Wolf Educational Materials
Subd. 06e    $100,000 FRF / $ 30,000 Nonstate Match

Walter M. Medwid
International Wolf Center
1369 HWY 169
Ely, MN 55731

Phone:  (218) 365-4695
Fax:  (218) 365-3318

Funds from this project help the International Wolf Center (IWC) collect and develop state-of-the-art written, electronic, and photographic audiovisual material about wolf ecology, recovery, and management for electronic distribution to Minnesota schools, nature centers, and other interested individuals and organizations. The new Information Resources department was established to respond to an average of over 300 information requests per month. The department also surveyed and catalogued all of the materials currently held by the IWC and made plans for future acquisitions. Funds were also used to print and distribute a bibliography of wolf resources and develop two wolf education packages. The highlight of the project was the development of an on-site public access computer workstation and web page. During its first year of operation, the wet site was accessed 1.2 million times. Over 250 pages have been established on the web site, including a catalogue of IWC resource materials, the wolf bibliography, and wolf education packages, to meet the average of 20,000 visits received to the IWC's web site per week.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $100,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 13g.)

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Environmental Action Grants for Minnesota Schools
Subd. 06f    $200,000 TF / $50,000 Nonstate Match

Gary B. Deason
School Nature Area Project (SNAP)
St. Olaf College
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057

Phone:  (507) 646-3908

The School Nature Area Project (SNAP) created the Environmental Action Grants program for K-12 schools for projects leading to the establishment of school nature areas within walking distance of school buildings. Thirty project grants, for planting native vegetation and enhancing wildlife habitat, and twelve Partnership Grants, for the development of nature areas and environmental education training for teachers, were awarded to Minnesota schools throughout the state. Over 8,450 students were involved in Project Grants that impacted over 1000 acres of land and leveraged an additional $48,000. In the Partnership Grant program, 69 teachers participated in environmental education training and developed curriculum units for their nature areas. An additional 125 people and organizations provided consulting services and assistance to the schools. Finally, after an outside evaluator visited six Project Grant schools, he noted in his report "that the Project Grants provided an excellent starting point at nearly all the sites and were used as an impetus for seeking future funding, volunteer help, community involvement, and more long-term planning."

Dissemination of the project results took place through a variety of forums. Project results have been presented at three separate teacher conferences. The Environmental Action Grants book, describing projects of all of the schools that have worked with SNAP, was compiled and will be distributed at meetings advertising the grants program. Project descriptions are also being added to the SNAP web site where every school has a web page. Three 5-7 minute video segments about three Project Grant schools were produced for the television program Environmental Journal . Forty-five teachers also participated in a Project Grant Recipients Conference that focused on planting native vegetation.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $250,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 13a.)

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Electronic Environmental Education Network (EEEN)
Subd. 06g    $250,000 FRF / $38,000 Nonstate Match

Mark Martell
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota
1920 Fitch Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108


This project developed a program for student participation in satellite-tracking research, data collection and dissemination. Satellite telemetry was used to determine the migratory routes, stopover sites, and wintering areas of 12 Minnesota nesting Ospreys, and 2 Swainson's Hawks between 1995 and 1996. An additional nine Osprey and three Swainson's Hawks were fitted with radios in the summer of 1997. Data collected show that Minnesota's Osprey take two distinct migratory routes south and identify six countries where wintering areas occur. Minnesota's Swainson's Hawks migrated south along the same route, and wintered in the same areas, as other North American Swainson's Hawks. This exposes them to pesticide problems that, in the past, resulted in the deaths of over 5,000 hawks.

A website ( connects schoolchildren and the general public to the project, allowing them to participate in research as it happens. The data, migration locations, natural history information, and 16 teacher lesson plans were placed on the Web and classroom materials have been distributed to schools around Minnesota and the United States. Twelve teacher workshops and over 20 classroom and public presentations were given to increase the awareness and skills of teachers and others using these materials. In addition, partnerships with Environmental Learning Centers around the state and selected national partnerships have resulted in a broader learning experience for schoolchildren statewide who access this program via the internet. As of December 1997, the site was being used by over 50 schools. This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $222,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 13i). Additional private monies have been and will continue to be raised to support and expand the project nationally and possibly internationally.

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Three Rivers Initiative
Subd. 06h    $750,000 FRF

Patrick L. Hamilton
Science Museum of Minnesota
30 E. 10th Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone:  (651) 221-4761
Fax:  612) 221-4528

Using the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix rivers, Three Rivers Initiative (TRI) produced new exhibits, theater performances, and demonstrations for museum visitors that emphasize the connections between watersheds and river water quality. These include 3,100 square feet of new river-based exhibits for the Our Minnesota hall, a TRI demonstration to acquaint visitors with the issue of bioaccumulation of mercury in fish, and a new program for school groups focusing on the water quality challenges facing the Minnesota river. Project funds also gave some high school students the chance to learn exhibit development and production skills from museum staff and then develop their own exhibits about the three rivers. Collectively called the "River Mall," these exhibits are on long-term display in the Our Minnesota hall. Finally, TRI developed new school outreach programs about rivers that have already reached 34,000 students and teachers.

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Interactive Computer Exhibit on Minnesota Renewable Energy Sources
Subd. 06i    $150,000 OOC

William B. Grant
Midwest Office of the Izaak Walton League of America
5701 Normandale Road
Minneapolis, MN 55424

Phone:  (612) 922-1608

This appropriation has been used to develop an interactive multimedia computer exhibit on renewable energy resources in Minnesota. In accordance with the Minnesota Environmental Education Plan, users of the CD-ROM will:

  1. Learn about the environmental impact of energy use and power generation in the state;
  2. Learn about alternatives presented by renewable energy sources;
  3. Understand the economic and environmental impact of these alternatives; and
  4. Gain information to make informed decisions about energy use and power generation.

2,500 CD-ROMS, entitled Power to Spare: Minnesota's Renewable Energy Resources, were produced and will be disseminated to students in elementary and middle schools. The CD-ROM is also now on display in a computer kiosk in the Our Minnesota Hall in the Science Museum of Minnesota.

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Trees for Teens: Training, Resources, Education, Employment, Service
Subd. 06j    $75,000 FRF

Kirk M. Brown
Twin Cities Tree Trust
6300 Walker Avenue
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Phone:  (612) 920-9326

Through a hands-on training program and mentoring program at least 100 youth from 5 pilot schools gained training in urban forestry and carried out community service projects. Pilot schools were selected which have populations at risk, low income, disabled, and/or culturally diverse students interested in participating, as well as schools exhibiting strong PTA commitment. In addition Trees for Teens produced three publications including a Youth Notebook, Teacher's Manual, and Program Guide on the project which will be available for purchase by other schools interested in implementing the program.

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Redwood Falls School District #637 Environmental Education Project
Subd. 06k    $250,000 TF

Jerry Meschke
Redwood Falls School District
100 George Ramseth Drive
Redwood Falls, MN 56283

Phone:  (507)644-3521

The primary objectives of this project were to create a K-12 environmental curriculum in the Redwood Falls School District and develop two nature areas, one adjacent to the Reede Gray Elementary School and the other adjacent to the High School/Middle School building. All the teachers in the district attended two inservices facilitated by staff from the School Nature Area Project. The project also funded the development of a 4000 square foot nature area at Reede Gray, including a walking trail and native species plantings, and established a 22-acre nature area at the High School/Middle School. This area included walking trails, interpretive signage, native species planting, outdoor classroom areas, and three arboretum areas. The results of this project have been disseminated to interested parties using several different methods; including a booth exhibit, pamphlet distribution, an open house, and the development of a web site.

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Together Outdoors Minnesota
Subd. 06l    $575,000 FRF / $ 80,000 Nonstate Match

Greg Lais
Executive Director
Wilderness Inquiry
808 14th Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414-1516

Phone:  (612) 676-9400
Fax:  (612) 676-9401

This project had three primary goals:

  1. Establish Minnesota as a model state for inclusion of diverse populations in natural resource programs;
  2. Increase quality of life for people of different abilities and cultures through improved access to Minnesota's outdoor resources; and
  3. Improve the quality of outdoor program service delivery for all Minnesota citizens.

This was accomplished in three phases. First, over 50 people, all of whom were minorities or people with disabilities, completed Outdoor Diversity Training to become Diversity Specialists. Training materials included ways of recognizing the needs and contributions of cultural groups in Minnesota, including Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, American Indians, African American Minnesotans and Mexican-Chicano-Latino Minnesotans, and Minnesotans with disabilities.

In the second phase, these specialists trained over 700 outdoor recreation service providers about working with diverse populations, adapting facilities or programs to meet the needs of these diverse populations, and facilitating inclusion and increasing participation by these diverse users.

The final phase was the establishment of a Diversity Specialist network. This network was responsible for outreach activities which served 2400 people, and public awareness events which served 8800 individuals statewide. Outreach activities included presentations, consultations, and public awareness events to help develop a positive regard for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, social class or ability level. The network also produced four Together Outdoors Minnesota newsletters, developed an accessibility resource manual that is available to outdoor recreation service providers, and created an accessible facility guidebook highlighting state, county, and municipal parks throughout Minnesota.

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Enhanced Natural Resource Opportunities for Asian-Pacific Minnesotans
Subd. 06m    $150,000 FRF

Josée Cung
Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-4745
Fax:  (651) 296-6047

This project has sought to increase Asian, especially Southeast Asian (SEA), participation and understanding of natural resources management issues, including resources protection and conservation through community outreach and education, cultural collaboration and training. These activities are continued from the last biennium. During the first year of this biennium, this project added eleven new SEA community groups in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area as project partners, planned and scheduled educational activities on the topic of game and fish laws with leaders of newly-arrived immigrant groups, held twelve workshops on fishing and hunting rules and regulations, and made 32 field trips to state parks and DNR-managed natural resource facilities. The project also connected with natural resource divisions to modify and simplify relevant existing information and education programs to serve particular Asians communities. Finally, the project sought and was successful in securing general funding from the state legislature to become, beginning July 1996, an on-going minority service program of the DNR.

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Deliver Ecological Information and Technical Assistance to Local Governments
Subd. 06n    $100,000 FRF

Bonita Eliason
Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box 7
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-2276

The goal of the project was to facilitate protection of rare species and significant habitats by local action in counties in the greater Twin Cities area where the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS) is complete or partially complete. An ecologist provided ecological information about the importance of protecting rare species and plant communities to 43 municipalities, including 11 counties, 20 cities, 2 townships, and 10 watersheds. This included county planners in the process of developing comprehensive plans, water plans, or parks and open space plans, and a workshop for landowners and local governments.

The project also resulted in two major publications that interpret ecological information. They include an 80 page booklet produced through a cooperative project titled Land Protection Options: A Handbook for Minnesota Landowners, and a 150 page book titled Natural Areas: Protecting a Vital Community Asset; A Sourcebook for Minnesota Local Governments and Citizens produced to provide information to local governments. Five thousand copies of the booklet were printed and widely distributed to natural resource professionals and landowners. Four thousand copies of the sourcebook for local governments were printed and distributed to local governments.

In addition, information about 22 high-priority sites was distributed to local governments, citizen groups, and land managers. Natural resource protection plans were prepared through cooperative efforts for two high priority land sites:

  1. The Sandhill Crane Natural Area in East Bethel, and
  2. The Bluff Creek Watershed in Chanhassen.

Protective ordinances are being drafted by the cities of St. Cloud and Chanhassen using information from this project. Finally, two landowners in high-priority sites have received technical information about their lands from this project are working with the Minnesota Land Trust to pursue protection of their lands.

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Nonpoint Source Pollution Public Education Demonstration Project
Subd. 06o    $100,000 FRF / $12,000 Nonstate Match

Anne Weber
City of St. Paul
Department of Public Works
1000 CHA, 25 West Fourth Street
St. Paul, MN 55102

Phone:  (651) 266-6245

The goal of this project was to demonstrate how cooperative efforts between local government and organizations such as neighborhood, business, and environmental groups, can effectively address nonpoint source pollution. A collaborative effort between the St. Paul and Minneapolis Public Works Departments and Citizens for a Better Environment (CBE), the project focused on five neighborhoods in two watersheds, targeting Minneapolis' Bassett and St Paul's Lower Phalen Creek. A preliminary assessment of the needs for each watershed was completed and published in reports, and draft action plans written which outline specific steps that can be taken at the neighborhood level to reduce nonpoint source pollution. Resources to implement the plans in both watersheds are now being identified. Following neighborhood surveys, fact sheets were developed covering areas in which education was clearly indicated. Resources supplied through LCMR made it possible to leverage distribution of more than 76,000 of these fact sheets, including 61,400 to residents in four Minneapolis and four St. Paul neighborhoods. Additional mailings are planned. Finally, an urban watershed advisory board, recruited from a broad diversity of stakeholders, provided additional input on watershed profiles, draft action plans, surveys, and educational materials, as well as helping this project sponsor the regions first conference on urban nonpoint issues, "Restoring Our Urban Waters." More than 250 people attended the conference.

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Whitetail Deer Resource Center
Subd. 06p    $50,000 FRF / $50,000 Nonstate Match

Joe Wood
Executive Director
Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
P.O. Box 5123
2820 South Highway 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Phone:  (218) 327-1103

This project provided plans for a multiple use facility with the purpose of educating the public about the whitetail deer and its relationship to the people of Minnesota. Plans for public awareness and educational programs, displays and exhibits have been developed focusing on whitetail deer ecology, management, physiology, history, research, and economic impact. These plans include hands-on, experiential learning and interaction program activities focusing on outdoor and hunter safety, hunting ethics, habitat and wildlife management, responsibility towards shooting sports, and non-hunting activities. The site identified for the location of the Whitetail Deer Resource Center is near Grand Rapids, MN. The site will be approximately 60-80 acres to encompass the building and outdoor demonstration and interpretation area. Funding resources have been identified to start initial construction.

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Gordon Guillion Chair in Forest Wildlife Research and Education
Subd. 06q    $350,000 FRF / $350,000 Nonstate Match

Ira R. Adelman
University of Minnesota
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
1980 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-6124

Phone:  (651) 624-4228

This appropriation provided partial funding to establish an endowed chair at the University of Minnesota in the College of Natural Resources. This chair will develop management practices that preserve the quality of the natural environment, protect biodiversity, and allow for a sustainable harvest of wood fiber and game species. The chair will also establish ongoing research and teaching programs relevant to forest ecosystem management, and provide leadership in addressing the needs and problems of hunters, forest landowners, environmental groups, natural resource managers, the forest industry, and government agencies. This endowed chair will continue the legacy of Gordon Gullion's three decades of research and education on forest/wildlife interactions.

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Ney Environmental Center
Subd. 06r    $100,000 FRF

Sarah Malchow
Le Sueur County
County Board, 88 South Park
LeCenter, MN 56057


Appropriation added by the 1995 Legislature to the LCMR Recommendations

This project provided for the completion of the first phase of development of the Ney Residential Environmental Center and Nature Preserve on a 366 acre parcel of land overlooking the Minnesota river in Le Sueur County. This property includes the "Three Legged Frog Pond" where the first deformed frogs were identified.

LCMR Funds were primarily used to construct the Ney Environmental Center Classroom on this site. The Ney foundation received a $25,000 grant from other sources to purchase equipment to furnish the new classroom.

The remaining funds were used to develop an education program and complete a market study and promotion. The educational curriculum will be specific to the environment on the site and inclusive of the Minnesota River and the river valley area. This includes hands-on on-site demonstration activities and outdoor experiences. Work continues on curriculum development and modification thanks to a $3000 Roundup Grant the Ney foundation received. The market study was designed to create a comprehensive profile of potential users of the classroom and to develop materials and brochures to inform the target population of the opportunities available on this site.

The complete developments of all Phase I components of this project were targeted for June 30, 1998. This extension beyond the biennium is a result of additional funding received by the Ney foundation. Work on Phase II of this project, including a residential learning center, will continue into the future as the project continues to evolve and further sources of funding obtained.

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Lawndale Environmental Center
Subd. 06s    $300,000 FRF / $100,000 Nonstate Match

Gordon F. Eckberg
Lawndale Environmental Foundation
Rt. 2 Box 50
Herman, MN 56248-9628

Phone:   (651)677-2687

Appropriation added by the 1995 Legislature to the LCMR Recommendations

This appropriation provided for the purchase of a farm house and the accompanying land which will eventually serve as the Lawndale Environmental Learning Center and a five-year management plan.

This project received an extension and was completed by June 30, 1998.

Subd. 07   Natural Resource Data

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Environmental Indicators Initiative
Subd. 07a    $350,000 TF

Keith M. Wendt
Box 10, 500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-7879
Fax:  (651) 296-6047

Minnesota has lacked a comprehensive strategy for environmental monitoring. Monitoring efforts of the past have addressed isolated problems and have never been unified to provide overall measures of ecosystem health. This project has begun to create the framework for an integrated, statewide network for selecting and monitoring environmental indicators, measurable features of ecosystems that provide evidence of environmental quality.

During the first biennium, The EII Task Force, representing Environmental Quality Board Agencies, industry, academia and nonprofit conservation efforts, achieved consensus on an approach for a statewide environmental monitoring framework and related indicators. A draft catalog of existing environmental monitoring databases was completed including 160 entries from more than 24 agencies and organizations. As the EII workshop process identifies specific indicators, a more complete evaluation of the quality and quantity of environmental data with respect to comprehensive monitoring in Minnesota will be possible.

In addition, brief summaries of the extent and condition of Minnesota's air, groundwater, and major ecosystems were completed. Each of the summaries contained concise information on important ecological characteristics, benefits, pressures, status and trends, and major policies and programs relevant to the particular system. More refined descriptions were also completed for six selected ecosystems. These were used to identify nearly six hundred candidate indicators for consideration by workshop participants. The first of four proposed indicator selection workshops was held in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province in April 1997 and involved 35 participants. The workshop focused on evaluating indicators proposed by EII staff and selecting indicators to measure progress on environmental goals for the Cannon River watershed.

Finally, significant progress was made in establishing a preliminary, albeit informal, EII Network. The project was initiated with the development of an EII Program Coordination Matrix and a formal EII communications Plan to identify and effectively communicated with key audiences and potential EII Network members. An action plan to develop the EII Network has been prepared as part of the progress report for the 1995-97 biennium. Completion of the Network and the remaining 3 workshops will take place in the 1997-99 biennium due to an extension in the funding for this project.

This project continues into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $250,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 14a.)

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Assessing Wetland Quality With Ecological Indicators
Subd. 07b    $275,000 TF

Susan Galatowitsch
University of Minnesota
Dept. of Horticultural Science
305 Alderman Hall, 1970 Folwell Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone:  (651) 624-3242


This project focussed on establishing a system of reference wetlands for comparative monitoring, developing plant and animal indicators of wetland quality, and developing guidelines for wetland assessment and monitoring to guide replacement wetland monitoring. Eight series of fifteen wetlands (120 sites) were used to develop wetland Indices of Biotic Integrity (IBIs). Particular attention was given to wetlands in urban and agricultural areas of the state having the highest activity of wetland conversion and replacement. For each of the wetlands, the environmental features (soil, etc...) were characterized, a land-use assessment was completed, and biological surveys of amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates and plants completed. For each series, animal and plant indicators were identified based on biological community patterns. Before the indicators developed in this study can be used for assessment, additional statistical tests and land-use relationships need to be conducted. A grant has been obtained to complete this additional analysis. Information obtained from this project has been made into an electronic publication, viewable with commonly available Internet browsers. By February 1998, this publication should be accessible on the Web from a University of Minnesota server.

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County Biological Survey - Continuation
Subd. 07c    $900,000 TF

Carmen Converse
Box 7, 500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (612) 296-9782

The Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS) is a systematic inventory of rare biological features that began in 1987 in response to the need to determine the status of biological diversity in Minnesota. The goal of MCBS is to identify significant natural areas and to collect and interpret data on the distribution and ecology of rare plants, rare animals and natural communities. Since July 1995, surveys were completed in Polk, Fillmore, Mahnomen, Wabasha, and Olmsted counties, and were began in Carver, Hennepin, Le Sueur, Scott and Wright counties. New records of 1741 features were added to the Rare Features Database. MCBS data were also used in the evaluation process that led to the revision of the state list of endangered and threatened species that became effective 1 July, 1996. The most recent publications of MCBS include nine new wall maps displaying Survey results. Published maps are now available for 17 of the 29 counties where the survey is complete. MCBS has also sold 1800 copies of the book, Minnesota's St. Croix River Valley and Anoka Sandpland: a guide to native habitats. Protection of natural areas continues as thirty tracts identified by MCBS became Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) or additions to existing SNA's, including Wood Rill SNA in Hennepin County and the acquisition of 4,300 acres of aspen parkland as an addition to the Caribou Wildlife Management Area in northwestern Minnesota. This is just some of what MCBS has accomplished during the 1995 biennium.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $1,200,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17n.)

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Forest Bird Diversity Initiative - Continuation
Subd. 07d    $400,000 TF

Lee Pfannmuller
Division of Fish and Wildlife
Ecological Services Section
Box 25, 500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4025

Phone:  (651) 296-0783


Designed as a long-term initiative that began in FY92-93, the project's primary goal is to develop landscape management tools to maintain Minnesota's rich diversity of forest birds. Major objectives in the FY96-97 biennium were to: continue and expand the forest bird monitoring program; conduct bird productivity studies; model relationships of forest birds to landscape characteristics; and promote forest bird conservation and management.

During the FY96-97, project staff completed the sixth and seventh years of monitoring forest bird populations in the Chippewa National Forest and Superior National Forest, the fifth and sixth years in the St. Croix Valley study region and the second and third years in southeast Minnesota. Analysis of the data shows that most breeding bird populations in northern and east-central Minnesota have been relatively stable and more species have shown an increasing trend compared with those that are decreasing. Preliminary results in the southeast, however, indicate that several species may be experiencing long-term population declines.

Studies of overall productivity revealed that nest success of forest birds can be highly variable between years. In southeastern Minnesota, study results show that most forest bird species west of the extensively forested region of the Mississippi River experience low reproductive success. Other studies estimate that nest success for migratory songbirds needs to be a minimum of 60% to maintain viable breeding populations. Based on most studies of nest success in forested areas of Minnesota, this minimum is not being attained except in select years when nest success is relatively high.

Significant progress was made on the development of many components of the forest landscape simulation model, LANDIS. Eventually the model will allow forest managers to describe how bird populations respond to changes in forest cover types and landscape level vegetation patterns as a consequence of logging, land use change, and natural disturbances to the forest environment. The first tier of the bird habitat model that relates distribution and abundance to forest stand cover type and age was completed and work continues on the second tier that will relate bird distribution and abundance to vegetation patterns at the landscape level. Five other model components related to the input and utilization of forest cover type data were also developed. A test application of the model was conducted on a square-mile study plot in Pine County.

Continued dissemination of project results included:

  1. 33 presentations on forest bird management and conservation, highlighting the results of this project, have been delivered to local, regional, and national audiences this biennium;
  2. Project staff were integral components of five logger education workshops which reached nearly 600 loggers in 1996;
  3. Eight papers have been published, including five in peer-reviewed publications;
  4. Four Masters of Science graduate projects were completed and one is underway; and
  5. A new forest stewardship publication on forest birds and a series of five workshops on Birds and Forests are also in progress, with completion scheduled in FY98.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $350,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 14b).

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Base Maps for 1990's - Final Phase - Continuation
Subd. 07e    $600,000 TF

Don Yaeger
Land Management Information Center
330 Centennial Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-2490

This project received two awards, from Governor Carlson and US Geologic Survey , for Base Maps for the 90's project success.

A major cost of building any Geographic Information System (GIS) is collecting and digitizing data. Having current, accurate, digital base maps for GIS data collectors will greatly enhance data exchange and reduce the need to recompile data on other maps at a later date. This effort is the final phase of an 8-year project that produced five different papers and digital GIS mapping products and fostered another two products developed beyond the original project plan. The original five products include statewide air photos, 138 revised topographic maps, Digital Orthophoto Quads (DQQs), computer-readable air photos that have been processed to minimize distortions found on traditional photos, Digital Orthophotos compressed on county-formatted CD-ROMs, and digital elevation models. Two additional projects started with other sources of funding include Digital Raster Graphics, or scanned full-color images of the published USGS maps, and a 1996-7 National Aerial Photography Program reflight. All seven projects will be complete for the entire state by early 1998. Products from this project will not only be used for GIS application, but can also be used by the general public with an interest in the state's land resources.

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Completion of Statewide Land Use Update - Continuation
Subd. 07f    $380,000 FRF

David Weirens
Association of MN Counties
125 Charles Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55103-2108

Phone:  (651) 224-3344

This appropriation updated the MN land use map and the converted the data to computer format. Data is made available to users through the Land Management Information Center (LMIC), local water planning agencies, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Association of Minnesota Counties.

This project received an extension and was completed June 30, 1998.

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Fillmore County Soil Survey Update
Subd. 07g    $65,000 FRF / 50% Nonfederal Match Required

Kevin Scheidecker
Fillmore County
900 Washington Street
Preston, MN 55965-9511

Phone:  (507) 765-3879

This appropriation is to begin a three biennium project to update the Fillmore county soil survey into a digitized and manuscript format which will be used to plan and manage land for agriculture, water quality concerns, urbanization, recreation, and wildlife. The current soil survey was completed in 1954 and was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Soil maps and data will be used by resource managers of private, county, state and federal lands, assessors, and planning and zoning officials. Also, there is a need to produce soil surveys maps on an orthophotographic basemap suitable for GIS and other applications.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $65,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 10g.)

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Minnesota River Tile System Research - Continuation
Subd. 07h    $150,000 FRF

Wayne P. Anderson / Tim Larson
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194

Phone:  Wayne P. Anderson (651) 296-7323 / Tim Larson (651) 282-5559


Overall Project Outcome and Results This appropriation was for the continued research on the impacts of best management practices (BMP) for surface tile inlets in the Minnesota River basin. Objectives included the gathering and analysis of experimental data from tile systems with and without surface tile inlets. Agricultural tile line water quality was monitored at the Merle Anderson farm near St. James and at two sites on the John Rollings farm near Vernon Center. Subsurface and surface tile inlets were studied at both sites. Water flow and weather parameters were recorded continuously on electronic data loggers. Water quality samples were collected by event-triggered automatic samplers during recharge (rain and snow melt) events. The concentrations of sediments, nutrients, pesticides and dissolved ions were measured in the recharge event samples.

This project also had an objective; to develop and evaluate a simulation model for watersheds with surface tile inlets. Model requirements were to simulate hydrologic and sedimentologic processes, including the influences of best management practices for the land and for the inlets themselves. An evaluation of predictive accuracy of the model is an important step in its development. A suite of routines, collectively referred to as DROPLETS (Drainage Response Of Pothole Landscapes and the Erosion and Transport of Sediment) Model, to assess the hydrologic and sedimentologic impact of surface tile inlets were developed. Two different management scenarios, the impact of upland tillage practices on the sediment load to the inlet and the effectiveness of a grass buffer zone around the surface tile inlet, were analyzed using the DROPLETS routines. Both scenarios were evaluated for the Rollins Farm East Experimental Site using a minimum of 200 years of simulation. The no-till operations were more effective in reducing the sediment load. In comparison to conventional tillage, the no-till operation reduced sediment load by approximately 85%. The grass buffer reduced sediment load of conventional tillage by approximately 55%.

Project Result Use and Dissemination The results of this study have been reported at the local, state and national level through publications and presentations at scientific meetings.

This project was completed November 30, 1998.

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Sugarloaf Site Assessment and Interpretation
Subd. 07i    $70,000 FRF / $30,000 Nonstate Match

Patricia Maus
Sugarloaf Interpretive Center Association (SICA)
SICA, C/O 140 Engineering
College of Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota, Duluth
Duluth, MN 55812

Phone:  (218) 726-8526

The objective of this project was to survey and document site characteristics, habitat, species, local and regional cultural history, and to develop interpretive materials to share the findings with the public. This work strengthened knowledge of North Shore ecology and geology and provided a baseline for:

  1. Long-term monitoring;
  2. Developing interpretive materials;
  3. Definition of the relationship between natural and human ecology; and
  4. Data for the demonstration projects.

The strength of the project was the integration of unique physical and cultural/historical systems to produce an interpretation of natural and human ecological relationships on the North Shore. The project resulted in 44 products, including nine scientific reports, nine GIS map data layers and a data base, a bibliography, an archival resources catalog, six slide presentations, a 24 page trail guide, two field guide outlines, and a grade 5-7 lesson plan. There is a large audience - general public, tourist, resident, academic - for this project's North Shore information. Dissemination of the results has already begun via the web page for the Natural Resource Research Institute (NRRI) at UMD, university and North Shore school projects, national conferences, public events and meetings, and Duluth Public Access Community Television.

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Microbial Deterioration of Asphalt Materials and its Prevention
Subd. 07j    $60,000 OOC

Fu-Hsian Chang
Bemidji State University
Center for Environmental Studies
Bemidji State University
Bemidji, MN 56601-2699


This research project studied the microbial deterioration of asphalt materials. The goal was to identify a possible connection between the asphalt stripping witnessed on Minnesota highways and hydrocarbon consuming microbes indigenous to various soils around the state of Minnesota. 32 samples of stripped and non-stripped asphalt pavements were collected by MN/DOT's five District Labs (Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Willmar, Mankato and Rochester) and were tested in the laboratory for presence of hydrocarbon consuming microbes. It was found that asphalt samples (and soils underneath) from the stripped pavements have more asphalt-degrading microbial population than the control non-stripped samples (and the soils underneath).

This project received an extension and is now complete.

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Analysis of Lands Enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program
Subd. 07k    $200,000 FRF

Mary J. Hanks
MN Dept. of Agriculture
90 West Plato Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55107

Phone:  (651) 296-1277

Appropriation added by the 1995 Legislature to the LCMR Recommendations

This appropriation was for the continued analysis of lands enrolled in the conservation reserve program relative to nonpoint source pollution, developing land management options for lands emerging from the program and developing the capability to target future program funds for the greatest environmental benefit. GIS maps were completed for 700,000 acres of CRP land in 58 counties, all CRP land remaining in counties. The relative importance of CRP lands for soil conservation and water quality was assessed through environmental and geographic analysis and as a result environmentally and economically sound land use alternatives for land returning to production was identified and communicated to interested parties.

Over 1,000 conservation professionals in every county were introduced to the Minnesota CRP GIS Database and offered free copies of the digital data at more than 20 conference exhibits and presentations. The database will continue to be made available from MDA, BWSR and other state agencies. Lastly a computer-based CRP policy simulation program, Ag Land was devloped. The game links GIS, contract holder surveys, and land use alternatives data, it was tested by more than 200 students, farmers and conservation professionals.

Subd. 08   Urban Natural Resources

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Urban Wildlife Habitat Program
Subd. 08a    $150,000 FRF / $35,000 Nonstate Match

Anne Hunt
Saint Paul Neighborhood Energy Consortium (NEC)
475 North Cleveland Avenue #100
St. Paul, MN 55104

Phone:  (651) 644-5436
Fax:  (651)649-3109

This project was designed to provide workshops and native planting materials to households in St. Paul for landscaping for wildlife, demonstrating plant diversity, and alternative lawn care practices in the urban environment. Initially, project staff hired a landscape designer to plan five patch (miniature ecosystems) design options based on typical urban habitats to be used by area residents to landscape for wildlife. These include partial shade, full shade from deciduous trees and/or buildings, full shade from evergreens, full sun with well-drained soils, and full sun with poorly drained soil. Project staff used these designs to develop, promote, conduct and continuously fine-tune urban habitat workshops. The reference materials included where to buy native plants, where to see native plant landscapes, selected reference books, how to attract wildlife and five steps to home landscaping.

Thirty-one workshops were presented to 833 individuals from 715 households. These presentations enjoyed strong word-of-mouth advertising as evaluations revealed that 65% of the workshop participants had recommended the program to someone else. One presentation was videotaped and has aired on a public access cable station numerous times. Three hundred and fifty-seven households purchased reduced cost plant material. Additional dissemination of program information occurred in the form of a one-page, double-sided insert providing information on landscaping with native plants and attracting wildlife that was distributed in the NEC newsletter to 110,000 St. Paul residents, and in collaboration with the DNR, distributed the information at the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show.

As native species often establish themselves more vigorously when planted in the fall, this program would benefit from two complete growing and planting seasons. Therefore, in order to take advantage of the entire 1997 season, an extension to this project was granted until July 1998.

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Gardening Program - Statewide
Subd. 08b    $300,000 FRF / $3,000 Nonstate Match

Melinda Hooker
Sustainable Resources Center
1916 Second Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Phone:  (651) 872-3283
Fax:  (612) 870-0729

This project was designed to provide technical assistance on community plantings, food gardens, trees, native plants, and environmentally sound horticulture and land use practices. As a result of this appropriation, technical assistance and ongoing support was provided to 73 new community gardens and greening sites, and to 90 existing garden sites. Over 110 workshops on organic gardening, sustainable landscaping and community greening were held, 52 community presentations given and 24 newsletters published and distributed to over 3,100 communities and individuals statewide. An estimated $650,000 worth of plant donations were distributed to metro and non-metro community sites. The project also supported and maintained sustainable horticulture sites in 7 Minneapolis neighborhoods and 3 new sites were developed, implemented, and maintained in the Frogtown and Highland Park neighborhoods of St. Paul. Dissemination of project materials has reached a wide audience through newsletters, factsheets, workshops, conferences, community meetings, and school presentations. Most of this information is disseminated at no cost to the recipients and participants.

Interest in this project has continued to increase as Minnesotans deal with issues of the environment, food, and community land use and livability.

Throughout the project the Duluth Community Gardening Program educated the Duluth public on small scale, environmentally sound fruit tree and vegetable production techniques and composting. Education was accomplished through phone consultations, distribution of three newsletters (to 500 addresses), classes, distribution of information and literature at public events. 151 garden plots were in the summer of 1996 and 171 garden plots in the summer of 1997 were leased, with over 75% of the plots being used by low-income people.

Further funding has been obtained for the 1997-99 biennium through the LCMR (Laws 1997 Chapter 216 Sec. 15 Subd. 12(f)). With this additional allocation, the project partners will increase information dissemination on sustainable landscaping, continue providing technical assistance and education, and for urban rural links through connections between sustainable farmers and urban communities.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $400,000 ( ML 97, Chap. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 12(f).)

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Releaf: Planting for Energy Conservation in Communities
Subd. 08c    $400,000 OOC

Peg Sand
DNR, Division of Forestry
1200 Warner Road
St. Paul, MN 55106

Phone:  (651) 772-7562
Fax:  (651)772-7599

The Minnesota ReLeaf program was established to encourage the planting, maintenance, and improvement of trees in communities throughout the state to help in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, promote energy conservation and provide multiple aesthetic and environmental benefits. This project, ReLeaf: Planting for Energy Conservation in Communities, built upon this original intent by achieving strategic tree planting of predominately native shade trees for energy conservation in communities throughout the state. As a result, over 15,000 trees (81% native) and about 4600 shrubs (86% native) were planted in 75 projects across the state. Most projects achieved strategic planting of shade trees to reduce air conditioning costs, and creation of community windbreaks to reduce winter fuel costs and snow plowing costs. Local project sponsors contributed over $624,000 in a 1.9:1 match to the state funding. Hundreds of community volunteers, volunteer Master Gardener and Tree Care Advisors, and over 50 local service groups were directly involved in planting in their local communities.

In addition, the projects resulted in partnerships between local communities and various groups or organizations, such as several Soil and Water Conservation Districts, RC&D's, school districts, and municipal utilities. The project also resulted in the development of nine new publications, traveling displays and scripted slide show sets, and a series of statewide magazine articles and workshops done in cooperation with the Minnesota State Horticultural Society.

This project continues into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $300,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 19a.)

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Maplewood Innovative Storm Water Management Project
Subd. 08d    $100,000 FRF / $165,000 Nonstate Match

Kenneth G. Haider
City of Maplewood
1830 E. County Road B
Maplewood, MN 55109

Phone:  (612) 770-450
Fax:  (612)-770-4506

The objective of this project was to design and construct a storm water management system in a residential neighborhood that fully utilizes infiltration as an alternative to storm sewers. The project team consisted of representatives from the City of Maplewood, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, the University of Minnesota Department of Landscape Architecture, and the Wakefield neighborhood residents where the two-block study area was located. The residents were active participants from the beginning of the project and their perceptions, attitudes and ultimately acceptance were design elements considered throughout the process.

The project had to provide solutions for two important elements. The first was to create areas of standing water to stimulate infiltration of storm water runoff, and the second was to provide a landscape that is supported by the neighborhood. Ultimately, several different landscaping treatments were designed from which individual homeowners could choose for their property. Construction of the new designs was completed by January 1997. Since completion, the system performed well during both the fall rains and the spring thaw. There was no standing water on the streets and virtually all of the new plants and bushes were thriving. No discharge has occurred from the site and residents' reactions to the changes have been very positive.

A detail of this project has been presented at three conferences in the Twin Cities area as of July 1997, and is scheduled for a national conference of civil engineers in the fall of 1997. Tours of the neighborhood have been set up for interested groups and individuals. The Landscape Architecture Department at the University has also produced 1000 copies of a book called Ecological Gardens for Amenity and Infrastructure Guidebook. The book is available through the University, the City of Maplewood, and Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District.

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Phalen Wetland Restoration
Subd. 08e    $115,000 TF / $50,000 Nonstate Match

Michael G. Kassan, Jr.
City of St. Paul
1000 City Hall Annex
St. Paul, MN 55102

Phone:  (651) 266-6249
Fax:  (651) 298-5621

The Phalen Wetland Restoration Project was to restore about four acres of wetlands at the south end of Lake Phalen on St. Paul's East Side. The wetland will be a neighborhood amenity that restores the site's natural stormwater cleaning function, reduces nonpoint source pollution, enhances wildlife habitat and storm water detention, expands our understanding of how to achieve biodiversity in restored wetlands, and provides an environmental education resource. A preliminary plan for the wetland restoration was presented to a neighborhood meeting, attended by 80-100 people. The response was very positive. A grading plan has also been developed and the grading of the site has been completed. However, the grading was behind schedule due to labor issues with the contractor and a potential strike. Therefore, an extension for the project has been granted. This gave the project staff time to rethink their planting plan and schedule. The updated plan is to plant the upland areas of the wetland in mid-September 1997 and the remainder of the wetland in May of 1998. This schedule will allow for a greater variety of plants to be obtained and weather conditions that improve their chances of survival. The project was completed by July 1998.

Monitoring of this site will continue as part of a 1997-1999 appropriation (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 14e.)

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Wetland Restoration and Enhancement to Create Community Amenity and Form
Subd. 08f    $200,000 TF

Joan Nassauer
Univ. of Minnesota
Dept. of Landscape Architecture
89 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone:  (612) 625-6568
Fax:  (612) 625-7525

Inappropriate use of wetlands often creates water quality and watershed problems, eliminates needed wildlife habitat, and robs the community of a valuable amenity. This project has demonstrated how protected, restored, or constructed wetlands can be designed to realize their function as part of the surface hydrology of the city, maximize their urban habitat value, and be a widely appreciated amenity within the city. Five case studies were selected to demonstrate a range of wetland potentials with each project focused on a different potential for wetlands as community amenities. These are:

  1. Cambridge - How wetland landscape patterns can guide urban growth;
  2. Marshall - How development patterns across the watershed can ameliorate downstream flooding;
  3. Minneapolis - How wetlands can become focal amenities in urban redevelopment;
  4. Crystal - How wetland patterns can guide redevelopment of industrial areas; and
  5. North St. Paul - How constructed or restored wetlands can become settings for environmental education.

These case studies involved citizens, elected and appointed officials, local government staff, teachers, and students in the design process. Drawing from ideas of landscape ecology, landscape architecture, and urban design, a final concept was designed for each site. Project reports for each of the five projects are being disseminated through each city, the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, the Minnesota Extension Service, or the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. The reports have been written as cases to help other towns and cities use the ideas developed for the five case sites. However, the city and Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District have begun implementing the concept articulated in the North St. Paul project. Teachers in School district 622 are organizing environmental education curricula around this site and a new high school environmental science course visits the site nearly every day in the fall. In each of the other four cities, local governments have enthusiastically received the concepts.

Monitoring of the restored wetland in North St. Paul site will continue as part of a 1997-1999 appropriation (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 14e.)

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Metropolitan Area Groundwater Model to Predict Contaminant Movement
Subd. 08g    $250,000 TF

Andrew Streitz
Ground Water & Solid Waste Division
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-7791
Fax:  (651) 296-9707

This appropriation is intended to develop a flexible regional groundwater flow model to improve prediction of contaminant movement in groundwater at contamination sites in the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan area. The computer model is based on the analytic element method and simulates three-dimensional groundwater movements between and within aquifers. The complete model will consist of five layers representing the following aquifers listed from the surface downward: glacial drift, St. Peter Sandstone, and the Prairie du Chien-Jordan, Ironton-Galesville, and Mt. Simon-Hinkley Aquifers. It will be used as a management tool for groundwater resources by providing the background aquifer parameters for use in more detailed modeling of localized areas of concern. At the present time, layers 3,4 and 5, representing the three lower aquifers, have been modeled. Development of layer 2 is nearing completion. Layer 1 is under development.

The Metro Model will be available to groundwater scientists working in both the public and private sectors. It will provide the context of regional groundwater flow in the Metropolitan Area and can be used to aid in management decisions affecting groundwater. Additionally, users can add local detail to the model to conduct site-specific modeling for groundwater flow analysis.

The model has also been used at two Agency Superfund sites to:

  1. Design and evaluate remedial groundwater actions,
  2. Predict the movement of contaminate plumes,
  3. Identify contamination sources,
  4. Help target regional sampling locations for the MPCA Ground Water Monitoring and Assessment Program, and
  5. Determine capture zones of pumping wells.

Work at the Baytown site in Washington County is essentially complete, while work on a site in Hennepin County is on target to be completed before Spring 1998.

This project continues into the 1997-99 biennium with an appropriation of $300,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd 10b.)

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Arboretum Boundary Land Acquisition
Subd. 08h    $680,000 FRF / $400,000 Nonstate Match

Peter Olin
Univ. of Minnesota
P.O. Box 39
Chanhassen, MN 55317

Phone:  (612) 443-2882
Fax:  (612) 443-2521

The first objective of this project has been to protect the biological and experimental quality of the Arboretum by purchasing 30 acres of land contiguous with Arboretum boundaries which was slated for light industrial development. The second goal was to create a model research wetland, restored for public display and education. As a result of the past two years work on the newly acquired Arboretum property a wetland restoration has been initiated. Eradication of invasive plant species has occurred, wetland hydrology has been restored, and wetland plants and seeds have been reintroduced to the site. Time is now required for the vegetation and hydrology to reach a sort of equilibrium as the wetland matures. As the restoration slowly progresses, researchers will collect data to answer questions about wetland restoration and the methods used in this project.

The site will also become a center for wetland education. A 570-foot boardwalk and an 80-foot observation pier have been constructed with interpretive signs and outdoor galleries to bring students and visitors into the wetland. Soon, two interpretive shelters will complement the boardwalk and trail system. Interpretive programs and annual symposia will continue to be developed through the Arboretum.

Monitoring of this site will continue as part of a 1997-1999 appropriation (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 14e.)

This project continues into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $450,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 16b.)

Subd. 09   Fisheries

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Statewide Experimental Fishing Regulations
Subd. 09a    $650,000 FRF

Timothy Goeman
1601 Minnesota Drive
Brainerd, MN 56401

Phone:  (218) 828-2246
Fax:  (218) 828-6022

A decline in overall fish size in many Minnesota waters has been attributed to angler harvest and habitat degradation. The quality of recreational fishing can only be improved by altering fish harvest or the size distribution of the fish harvest. The most reasonable and acceptable way to change angler harvest of fish in through size-based regulations rather than restricting opportunities to fish. The purpose of this project is to collect baseline data to evaluate experimental fishing regulations to increase fish size and to establish experimental fishing regulations based on fish size.

Experimental fishing regulations were implemented on 10 study lakes in May 1996. 24 additional study lakes were placed under special management status with experimental fishing regulations in 1997. All regulations will remain in effect for six years, with some regulations, such as those for northern pike, scheduled to remain in effect for 10 years, due to the longevity of this species.

In addition to these new regulations, data has been collected which has served to establish the baseline of current conditions, including size and age structure of target fish populations and characteristics of the fish harvest. These data were documented through creel surveys and intensified fisheries sampling. Managing for quality fisheries with experimental fishing regulations requires quantifying critical fish population parameters before and after the effects of the regulation occur. This project has successfully documented the "before", or baseline conditions prior to the fishing regulation changes as well as establishing the framework for following the results of the changes in regulations through the next 6-10 years.

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RIM - Accelerate Fisheries Acquisition for Angler Access
Subd. 09b    $300,000 TF

Dirk Peterson
MN DNR Fisheries
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-3325

The goal of this project was to increase angler access (including non boat owners and urban users) by accelerating easement and fee title acquisition of land adjacent to streams and lakes.

Two parcels were purchased and eight additional parcels were processed for acquisition. The two parcels that were purchased were:

  1. .92 Acres at Stoney Brook FMA in Cass County and
  2. 4.0 Acres at Little Jordan Creek FMA in Fillmore County.

The project continues into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $567,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17m.)

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RIM - Accelerate Fisheries Habitat Development, Hatchery Rehabilitation and Streamflow Protection
Subd. 09c    $1,000,000 TF/FRF

Steve Hirsch / Dirk Peterson
MN DNR Fisheries
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 296-3325
Fax:  (651) 297-4916

The first part of the appropriation provides for the implementation of projects for the acquisition, improvement, and development of fisheries habitat and hatchery rehabilitation. Activities may include lake aeration, improvement of spawning areas, bank stabilization, fish barriers, and warm water stream improvement.

Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund

  1. Bulrush Reestablishment in Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca, and Todd counties
  2. Rebecca Lake Barrier construction, Hennepin County
  3. Como Lake Aeration, Ramsey County

Minnesota Future Resources Fund

  1. Snelling Lake Barrier construction, Hennepin County
  2. Mountain Lake Aeration, Pope County
  3. Mink-Somers lakes Aeration, Wright County
  4. Wirth Lake Aeration, Hennepin County
  5. Crooked Lake Aeration, Anoka County
  6. Winnibigoshish erosion control, Cass County
  7. Owasso Lake Aeration, Ramsey County

This portion of the project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $400,000 ( ML 97, Chap. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17(q).)

The second portion of the appropriation exists to improve and maintain statewide facilities for fish culture, rearing, and holding. The three main projects to be accomplished are:

  • Access at Peterson hatchery. Will provide a needed upgrade for ingress and egress of large fish transportation vehicles.
  • Linear clarifier (pond 1) at the Lanesboro Hatchery: To improve the fish waste management capabilities at Lanesboro fish hatchery for future compliance with the conditions set forth in the existing National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.
  • Pond and water supply restoration at the Waterville Hatchery. Redesign and replace the water supply drainage lines for eleven ponds at the Waterville hatchery. The new lines would allow for filling and draining any combination of rearing ponds at any time.

This portion of project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $225,000 ( ML 97, Chap. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 14(d).)

The third part of the appropriation is available to continue the stream flow protection program for the second biennium of a proposed eight biennium effort to establish a watershed level stream habitat database and develop the tools to set protected flows for ecosystem diversity. The project manager is Ian Chisholm of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife.

The funding is being used to provide streamline data that is integral to our overall stream protection efforts. The program will collect stream habitat data, and combine this with fish, macroinvertebrate and amphibian habitat requirements to develop protected flow recommendations that account for the biological values in our streams.

Flow recommendations and watershed reports for Yellow Medicine, Red Lake, Wild Rice, Buffalo and Otter Tail watersheds have been completed. In the upcoming months sites on the Cottonwood, Rock, and Pomme de Terre River watershed will be selected, and as much data as possible will be collected.

Subd. 10   Wildlife

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RIM - Accelerate Wildlife Acquisition
Subd. 10(a)    $650,000 TF/FRF

Kim Hennings
Division of Fish and Wildlife
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-2823

This project continued the protection of critical ecosystems by accelerating state programs to acquire wildlife habitat and wetlands in North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) project areas. A total of 634.71 acres were purchased during this biennium supporting two projects: 1) the Minnesota River; and 2) Heron Lake.

This project continues into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $500,000 ( ML 97, Chap. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17(l).)

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RIM - Accelerate Critical Habitat Match Program
Subd. 10b    $250,000 TF

Kim Hennings
DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-2823

This project provides an ongoing opportunity for private individuals, groups, and businesses to help fund the cost of acquiring or improving critical fish, wildlife, and native plant habitats. State funds in the Minnesota Critical Habitat Private Sector Matching account (CHM) are matched dollar-for-dollar by restricted and unrestricted contributions of land easements, or cash to the program. Land purchases have been primarily for wildlife management areas (WMA), with other projects involving acquisitions in scientific and natural areas (SNA), state parks, aquatic management areas (AMA), and state forests. Appropriations to this program may come from state bonding and other additional state funds as well as both the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund (TF) and the Minnesota Future Resources Fund (FRF).

Matching contributions of $250,000 have been obtained. The results obtained by the 1995 appropriation to this program include:

  1. Uncas Dunes SNA, Sherburne County - 24.93 acres were obtained; and
  2. 37 nongame wildlife management projects were funded, covering statewide issues as well as local issues in all six state regions.

In addition, $750,000 was appropriated to this program by the Legislature in 1996 (ML96, Chap.), $630,000 from the TF and $120,000 from the FRF. Matching contributions of $750,000 have been obtained for this appropriation. The following results were obtained as a result of the appropriation from the TF.

Trust Fund: Matching funds from this appropriation purchased two SNA parcels totaling 8.07 acres, one 1/2 acre Aquatic Management Area tract, and 457.18 acres in eight different WMAs.

Future Resource Fund: Two WMA parcels were purchased in Lac qui Parle and Blue Earth Counties totaling 80 acres. In addition, $94,514 were used to plant native trees and shrubs along the Mississippi River in St. Paul as part of the Greening the Great River Park Project.

This project continues into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $630,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17i.)

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RIM - Accelerate Wildlife Habitat Stewardship
Subd. 10c    $450,000 FRF

Dick Carlson
DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone:  (651) 297-0705

The stewardship program provided opportunities to accelerate the development, improvement, and enhancement of wildlife lands, wildlife habitat, natural communities and natural ecosystems on State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and other state land that was not available through normal appropriations. Emphasis is placed management of prairies, brushland, forest sites, nongame habitat and the planting and management of native grasses and the stewardship of these sites.

The project will also continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $400,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 17j.)

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Biomass Production, Management and Restoration of Brushland Habitats
Subd. 10d    $200,000 FRF

Donald Christian
University of MN
Department of Biology
211 Life Science
Duluth, MN 55812

Phone:  (218) 726-7263 or -6262


Continuing loss of early-succession brushlands has resulted in declining populations of sharp-tailed grouse and other wildlife species dependent on young, open brushlands. At the same time, there currently are serious initiatives to increase use of biomass as a renewable nonfossil energy source. This approach would be used as a site-specific alternative to, or along with, prescribed burning of mature brushlands. Therefore, the goals of this project are:

  1. To enhance understanding of biological resources and develop management approaches for brushland ecosystems in Minnesota,
  2. Investigate the feasibility of harvesting brush as a biomass energy source, and
  3. To increase awareness of brushland management issues and opportunities.

Significant progress towards these goals has been made. Work on biomass availability was completed, including several demonstration brush removal projects, and analyses and crude economic projections suggest that biomass on some but not all brush sites may be sufficient to offset estimated harvesting and transportation costs, if fiber and energy markets can be developed. At an estimated cost of $16 per ovendry ton, this is a relatively low cost compared to other biomass options. Preliminary assessments also suggest that nutrient loss due to brushland harvesting should not be a significant issue for long-term site sustainability.

Analyses of bearing-tree maps to assess the prevalence of openlands habitat prior to European settlement were completed. Results have shown considerable complexity in the pre-European landscape vegetation in sharptail areas. This approach should be useful in delineating areas of the state that should receive priority for management as openlands habitats, and in educating the public and land managers about managing for openlands habitats with in the forested part of the state.

Field studies have also been conducted on sharp-tailed grouse and songbirds to develop strategies for managing brushlands. An analysis of brushland landscape composition and songbird surveys both confirm the view that landscape scale considerations are critical in management of brushland ecosystems. Habitat analyses indicated that active sharptailed grouse dancing grounds occur in landscapes that have lower coverage of various brush and tree cover types and more native grass than either former (abandoned) dancing grounds and random points in the landscape. Vegetation profiles around dancing grounds are lower, and contain less planted conifer, with these differences in landscape composition recognizable at distances ranging from 200m to 3000m from the dancing ground center. Regarding songbirds, the data suggested that songbird communities differ between managed and unmanaged brushlands, as a function both of local habitat and the surrounding landscape.

These project results were described in several formal presentations and workshops, were discussed with numerous landowners, and are being written for submission to several scientific journals.

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Turn in Poachers Youth Activity Book
Subd. 10e    $50,000 FRF / $12,500 Nonstate Match

Mark Wm. Johnson
TIP, Inc.
3150 Ranchview Lane N
Plymouth, MN 55407

Phone:  (612) 519-0333
Fax:  (612) 519-0430

This appropriation enabled TIP, Inc. to develop, print, and disseminate an activity book for children 11-13 years of age. The 32 page activity book provides information on animal identification, hunting safety, poaching, and the positive role of conservation officers. It seeks to instill an understanding of the fragility of the environment, and to educate children about poaching, its impact on natural resources, and the need to respect our game and fish resource.

An initial printing of 39,000 books was followed by a second printing of 142,000 books in late 1996. The second printing added several additional educational articles and tools to the existing pages. Distribution is ongoing with copies of books going to the Minnesota DNR Firearmss Safety Classes, many 5th and 6th grade classes, Adopt-a-School programs via Conservation Officers, State Parks and others. Inquiries and requests for books have increased in 1996 and future publication through private donations appears possible.

Subd. 11   Energy

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WITHDRAWN - Inter-city Electric Vehicle Transportation Demonstration
Subd. 11a    $150,000 OOC / $30,000 Nonstate Match

David A. Johnson
Minnesota Power
30 W. Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone:  (218) 722-0264

The goal of this project was to develop and evaluate an electric vehicle infrastructure for use between Duluth and St. Paul, including installation of a charging station in Duluth, Hinkley, and St. Paul. A long-term demonstration was to be conducted to illustrate the feasibility and practicality of using electric vehicles for inter-city travel. Results of the demonstration were to be used in educating the public on the technology and the environmental benefits associated with this mode of transportation.

This project was withdrawn by the proposer in the summer of 1996.

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Sustainable Development of Wind Energy on Family Farms
Subd. 11b    $200,000 OOC

Sue Gunderson
Sustainable Resources Center
1916 Second Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Phone:  (612) 872-3282
Fax:  (612) 870-0729

The goal of this project is to provide technical assistance and technology transfer to family farmers for the development of wind energy harvesting. A curriculum of customer oriented learning materials will be developed using a variety of media. It will cover issues which family farmers have identified as barriers to harvesting wind on their property.

The curriculum, Harvest the Wind, is an extensive document composed primarily of material created for this project as well as documents previously published. A learning guide is included in the materials as an outline for trainers to present the materials. There is also a lending library of slides, and a spreadsheet for economic evaluation of various scenarios.

The train-the-trainer event, Windustry Minnesota, was held on January 7-10, 1997 in Alexandria, Minnesota. The event brought together educators from the MN Extension Service, the Farmers Union, college and university farm management programs, and interested rural community adult educators for three days of expert instruction about wind energy for electricity generation.

This project will continue into the 1997-1999 biennium with an additional appropriation of $200,000 (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 12d.)

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1 Megawatt Hybrid Electrical Generation Simulation Project
Subd. 11c    $50,000 OOC

Daniel Juhl
DanMar & Associates
191 W. 5th Street
Cottonwood, MN 56229

Phone:  (507) 423-5127
Fax:  (507)423-5532

The project objective was to gather wind data and utility load patterns and use this information to model the combined use of biofuel (ethanol or soyoils) and wind energy technologies to supply electricity.

A total of 20 months of municipal load data from Luverne, MN and wind speed (from a monitoring site just outside of Luverne) was correlated to see the economics of this type of generation technologies. The results showed that the cost of using these renewable technologies were slightly higher than the conventional methods of importing fossil fuel energy to meet the demand. More data was expected to be collected, but was not, due to a loss of a tower from storm weather damage.

The results of the project are being shared with and disseminated to the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association.

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Avian Population Analysis for Wind Power Generation Regions
Subd. 11d    $75,000 OOC / $75,000 Nonstate Match

John R. Dunlop
American Wind Energy Association
448 Morgan Ave. So., Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55405-2030

Phone:  (612) 377-3270
Fax:  (612)374-2181


The goal of this project was to identify and assess significant areas of avian activity within identified wind farm corridors in Minnesota. This goal was accomplished through a series of four project objectives. First, background information on previous research conducted on birds in regard to wind power facilities was compiled into an annotated bibliography. The bibliography is available from the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI).

Second, information on avian population data in this region was gathered from 10 sources for 43 counties within the three wind regions identified within the state. Background information indicated that migratory birds were likely to be most at risk from potential wind power development in the western portion of Minnesota. Breeding birds were not likely to be directly affected, however, because most breeding activity is completed at low elevations. This information is also available from the NRRI.

Third, field surveys were used to collect migratory bird data from the three wind regions within Minnesota. Information gathered across four seasons indicated that migratory activity was quite variable, was inconsistent across sites, and only a few differences were detected in number of migrants across the three regions. This inconsistency makes it difficult or impossible to rank areas for potential wind development that integrates concerns for migrating birds. However, results indicate it is safe to recommend that tower construction in areas that bisect daily movement be avoided because these flights are generally done at lower altitudes than long-range migrations and occur at an elevation that would be consistent with tower height.

Finally, the fourth objective was to summarize the information collected into one document that may be used to assist in the sitting and development of wind energy facilities in Minnesota. This document will be distributed to interested state and national agencies, such as Northern States Power (NSP), and will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. In addition, project results were presented at the 1997 Midwest Wildlife Conference in December, and the methods and techniques used to collect radar data in this study were applied to another study near Buffalo Ridge where additional wind towers are being constructed.

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Energy Improvements in Public Ice Arenas
Subd. 11e    $470,000 OOC

David Bohac
Center for Energy and Environment
100 North 6th Street, Suite 412A
Minneapolis, MN 55403-1520

Phone:  (612) 335-4830
Fax:  (612)335-5888

There are approximately 270 indoor ice arenas in the state of Minnesota which spend a total of $13.5 million annually on energy costs. This project's technology assessment and on-site engineering analysis have demonstrated the potential to cost effectively reduce ice arena energy costs by an average of 30 percent. After completing a technology assessment and survey of publicly owned arenas, the project worked with 28 arenas in Minnesota to implement $575,000 worth of energy efficiency and air quality improvements in 16 arenas. The improvements provide an energy cost savings of $106,500 annually. Educational promotion of energy efficiency and air quality improvements was also carried out.

This project received an extension and was completed June 30, 1998.

Subd. 12   Historic

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Restore Historic Mississippi River Mill Site
Subd. 12a    $120,000 FRF / $120,000 Nonstate Match

Thomas R. Griffin
Crown Hydro
5436 Columbus Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Phone:  (612) 825-1043

This appropriation provides for the restoration for public use of the historic West Bank Mills District on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis: in particular to reopen an area of the historic First Street tunnel from the Crown Roller Building to the end of the historic First Street Tunnel (150 yards) for public tours, unearth and restore the historic gatehouse foundation, construct catwalks and lighting through the tailrace tunnels, and restore and display the historic turbine at the historic Crown Roller Mill. This appropriation is contingent on the receipt of all applicable hydropower and other public agency approval. Crown Hydro has been notified by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the final Environmental Assessment will be completed and published by the end of June, 1997. Crown Hydro will then be issued a license to produce hydroelectric power.

This project has received an extension and was due to be completed by June 30, 1999. Project cancelled at end of appropriation period without being completed.

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Pond-Dakota Mission Restoration
Subd. 12b    $270,000 FRF / $80,000 Nonstate Match

Vonda Kelly
City of Bloomington
2215 W. Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431

Phone:  (612) 948-8877

The Pond-Dakota Mission Restoration Project provided for the restoration of the 1852 "pre-emption" house and the renovation/restoration of the 1856 brick house addition of the Gideon H. Pond and Farm site which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1852 "pre-emption" house has been reconstructed with the exterior restored to the appearance of the original house and the interior now serves as an interpretive learning center/museum. The 1856 brick house has been restored to its 1878 appearance both exterior and interior, including the first floor and a chamber on the second story and is open for public interpretation. The remainder of the second story has been adapted for a caretaker's residence with care being taken to retain the basic historic structural elements.

The preservation and restoration of the site assures that it will be available for present and future generations to learn through historic educational interpretive programming, including the importance of the site's location on the Minnesota River and the early contact between Euro-Americans and Native Americans which occurred at the Farm site. Over the past three years, more than 16,600 students, teachers, and parents have attended River Rendezvous Education Days, a living history event set in the 1800's depicting life on the frontier. Additional educational activities include weekend visits, regularly scheduled open houses, prearranged tour groups, and winter sleigh rides. A video is also being prepared that will depict extensive footage shot of the house before, during, and after construction, as well as activities which occur at the site.

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Joseph R. Brown Interpretive Center Restoration Project
Subd. 12c    $75,000 FRF / $5,000 Nonstate Match

Earl Renneke
Sibley County Historical Society
RR 2, P.O. Box 45
LeSueur, MN 56058

Phone:  (507) 237-2613
Fax:  (507) 248-3253

The objective of the project was to restore the 1879 Sibley County Courthouse so that it could be used as the Joseph R Brown Interpretive Center. The building was stabilized by making repairs to the basement, foundation, columns and roof trusses, allowing the second floor to be used and open to the public as the Joseph R Brown Interpretive Center by January 1, 1999.

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Heritage Trails
Subd. 12d    $200,000 FRF

Rachel Tooker
MN Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd. West
St. Paul, MN 55102-1906

Phone:  (612) 297-7451

This appropriation enabled the Minnesota Historical Society to build four new trails, including:

  1. Jeffers Petroglyphs Prairie Interpretive Trail;
  2. North West Company Fur Post Historic Site Interpretive Trail;
  3. Natural History Environment Trail at the Oliver Kelley Farm; and
  4. Lower Sioux Agency Trail Development.

Five miles of trails were built at North West Company Fur Post and the Oliver Kelley Farm. More are planned at Jeffers Petroglyphs and Lower Sioux Agency. Each trail has its own markers and signs to provide orientation and to allow visitors to explore the natural history of the site. Markers identify not only glyphs and prairie vegetation, but also provide visitors with the opportunity to explore the interaction of diverse cultures with the natural environment. In addition, each of the trails has a flexible ongoing component in their interpretation program to allow for change over seasons and time.

These sites are visited by more than 50,000 people each year, and nearly every visitor will benefit from the new expansions as each site.

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Restoration of Historic Elba Fire Tower
Subd. 12e    $73,000 FRF

Nancy Roberts
Elba Booster Club
Rt. 1, Box 243 A
Altura, MN 55910

Phone:  (507) 932-4538

This appropriation provided for restoration of the historic Elba Fire Tower at Whitewater State Park, complete with interpretive signage, media, brochures, trails, steps and parking lot. A hiking trial was completed to the tower. The tower in its restored condition will be used by many area visitors.

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Managing Minnesota Shipwrecks
Subd. 12f    $100,000 FRF

Scott Anfinson
MN Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd. W.
St. Paul, MN 5102

Phone:  (651) 296-5434

The project continued the effort to find, evaluate, preserve, and interpret underwater and shoreline historical resources. In this project, vessels from Lake Superior, non-shipwreck harbor features and inland waters were surveyed. A major effort was made to gain public support and to make findings easily accessible.

Of the 31 properties surveyed along the North Shore for shipwrecks, docks, and navigation aids 16 were deemed significant. Evidence of 110 wreck sites in Minnesota's inland lakes produced 12 locations as having potential for material remains.

A conference on underwater cultural resources was held in Duluth on October 10-12, 1996. It was attended by almost 200 sport divers, archaeologists, historians, and members of the general public.

A management plan was established to provide guidance for agencies and the public on how to protect and preserve underwater cultural resources.

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Lac Qui Parle Mission Historic Trail
Subd. 12g    $181,000 FRF

Rachel Tooker
MN Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd. West
St. Paul, MN 55102-1906

Phone:  (651) 297-7451
Fax:  (651) 297-3343

Appropriation added by the 1995 Legislature to the LCMR Recommendations

One mile of trail and a wooden deck overlook were built at the site above the lake and Fort Renville. The trail has four signs to provide orientation and to allow visitors to explore the natural history of the site, including the Lac qui Parle Mission and the Fort Renville fur post. Signs also interpret the natural resources of the Minnesota river and Lac qui Parle Lake reservoir, including its importance to migratory waterfowl.

Subd. 13   Biological Control

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Biological Control of Eurasian Watermilfoil and Purple Loosestrife - Continuation
Subd. 13a    $300,000 TF/FRF

Chip Welling
Ecological Services Section
Box 25, 500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4025

Phone:  (651) 297-8021


This project continued the development of biological controls for Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) and purple loosestrife, including native or naturalized insects, pathogens, and native or naturalized fungi. Evaluation of potential biological control agents for EWM by researchers at the University of Minnesota is primarily focused on a weevil (Euhrychiopsis lecontei), a native insect. Researchers sampled nine sites known to have weevils and documented apparent declines of varying degrees in EWM in six sites with three of these declines associated with weevils. Increases in abundance of native plants following declines in EWM appear to be important in preventing exotics from returning to high levels of abundance.

Research of weevils into study plots in lakes neither produced high densities of weevils nor did it reduce the density of milfoil. Researchers completed additional studies of factors that may limit populations of weevils, and hence limit their potential to control milfoil. Additional research will continue in 1997-1999 as part of an additional appropriation (ML97 Chap. 216 Sec. 15 Subd. 20(b).)

As a part of the purple loosestrife study, implementation of biological control was expanded through rearing and distribution efforts at the University of Minnesota. New rearing protocols were successfully tested and implemented. In 1996, 168,000 leaf-eating beetles, Galerucella spp., were released in 34 loosestrife infestations statewide, and in 1997, over 800,000 were released in 150 sites statewide. Beetles established at approximately 80% of the release sites and certain areas showed extensive populations of leaf-eating beetles two to three years after release. What impact this has on loosestrife mortality is not known, however Galerucella feeding on loosestrife shoot tips does appear to reduce the number of seed capsules produced on a loosestrife plant. Additional exploratory work has also been conducted in the development of a mycoherbicide to control loosestrife. Several fungi have been identified as being pathogenic to loosestrife and progress has been made to develop a carrier in which to incorporate the fungi and apply to plants. However, field tests of the fungal pathogens were not successful at this time.

The primary means for dissemination of project results are publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentations at conferences. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have also created a web page where information on the potential for biocontrol of milfoil is presented ( An extension publication on rearing and releasing Galerucella for management of purple loosestrife is under production at the University of Minnesota and will be ready for dissemination in January, 1998. This publication will teach resource managers how to raise and release leaf-eating beetles for the control of loosestrife.

This project has received an additional appropriation of $150,000 for the 1997-99 biennium (M.L. 1997, Chp. 216, Sec. 15, Subd. 20b.)

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Biological Control of Overland Spread of Oak Wilt
Subd. 13b    $90,000 FRF

Dwight Robinson
Pest Management Unit Supervisor
MN Dept. of Agriculture
Plant Protection Division
90 West Plato Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55107-2094

Phone:  (651)-296-8578
Fax:  (651)-296-7386


This appropriation addressed the problem of the spread of oak wilt fungus. Its goal was to enhance a natural biological control of the fungus to reduce production of infectious spores and overland spread of the disease. To achieve this goal, the project addressed three objectives. First, natural population levels of the competitor fungus Ophiostoma piceae were determined in a location with a long standing oak wilt control program and a second location with active oak wilt and no control program. This baseline data was required to help determine whether O. piceae augmentation sprays would benefit all oak wilt areas. Results showed natural populations of the biocontrol fungus (O. piceae) colonized and covered more of the oak wilt spore mats as the mats aged. A final report on this objective was written and published in the scientific journal Plant Disease.

The second objective was the development of cost-effective, environmental methods for enhancing natural biological control of the overland spread of oak wilt. This included development of the best application protocol, including timing of applications, equipment, best application sites and handling of a natural biological control agent that can eliminate oak wilt fungus. Project data found that although the extent of O. piceae colonization and density can be increased using augmentation sprays, biological control of oak wilt by O. piceae was not as effective as would be desired for a biocontrol agent. However, the project was able to develop an effective delivery system using a high-pressure sprayer that may be used for other potential antagonistic fungi for the control of oak wilt. USDA Forest Service cooperators are currently pursing development of other fungal antagonists that will utilize this delivery system.

The third objective was to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on O. piceae for oak wilt control and compare it with other current approaches to oak wilt control. Surveys were conducted in communities with oak wilt control programs. An analysis of the survey results indicated that a biological control fungus that stopped overland spread of oak wilt would be a great addition to the oak wilt control toolbox. Currently, the only effective measure for controlling this spread is through removal of infected trees. Managers indicated it would be beneficial to property owners as it would delay the cost of tree removal while also preventing future costs from future infections.

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Beneficial Fungal Inoculum for Prairie and Wetland Reclamation
Subd. 13c    $100,000 TF

Iris Charvat
University of MN
220 Biological Sciences Center
St. Paul, MN 55108-1095

Phone:  (612) 625-3199
Fax:  (612)625-5754


The success of the reclamation of native communities requires extensive knowledge not only of the appropriate plant community, but also of the symbiotic fungi which colonize the roots of most plants and supplement the host plant's nutrition. Many species of native plants are unable to survive without these arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Thus, inoculating reclamation sites with AMF may significantly enhance the re-establishment of desirable native species. However, little is known about the AMF populations of this state. Therefore, this research project had three objectives. AMF from several native and restored prairies and wetlands were characterized to establish baseline data about these populations. Soil was collected from 10 different native, disturbed, and reclaimed sites, tested for physical and chemical character and most of the AMF isolated from these samples identified to species.

As commercial production of AMF is currently expensive, and many of the species produced may not be appropriate for use in Minnesota, the second objective was to screen and adapt known fungal spore production processes to generate native Minnesota AMF inoculum. The selection of an appropriate host was found to significantly affect spore production, as native fungi were found to reproduce much more successfully when a native plant was used as the host. After using the collected soil in extensive tests, a refined version of a dual in vitro culturing system was successfully established which has potential commercial application.

The project also examined long-term storage effects on AMF propagules. Tests on the effects of storage found that over a period of two years, storage at 4 degrees C had no effect on spore viability. Results also indicate that germination is highly species specific, and that very different conditions may be required by different species.

Much of this work is being prepared for publication in scientific and professional journals, as well as being supplied to Mn/DOT for dissemination in their technical publications. Through these venues, it will be available to professionals in landscape careers, ecologists, and anyone interested in restoring and preserving Minnesota native landscapes. Work on this project continues through financial support from Mn/DOT.

Subd. 20   Additional Appropriations

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State Park and Recreation Area Acquisition
Subd. 20a    $1,120,000 TF

John Strohkirch
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4039

Phone:  (651) 296-8289
Fax:  (651)-297-1157

This funding represents an additional appropriation to M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 4b and was allocated strictly for state park and recreation area acquisition. These additional funds enabled the purchase of 1030.51 acres of land in the following 11 state parks:

  • Blue Mounds
  • Crow Wing
  • Glendalough
  • Great River Bluffs
  • Itasca
  • Lake Bemidji
  • Lake Bronson
  • Mille Lacs Kathio
  • Sibley
  • Split Rock Lighthouse
  • Temperance River

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Metropolitan Regional Park Acquisition, Additional Fiscal Year 1995 Appropriation
Subd. 20b    $1,120,000 TF

Arne Stefferud
Metropolitan Council
Mears Park Centre
230 E. Fifth Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone:  (651) 291-6360

This appropriation is for payment to the metropolitan council for subgrants to acquire parks and trails consistent with the metropolitan council regional recreation open space capital improvement plan. An original appropriation of $3,950,000 was made to this program (M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 4a.) This project represents an additional appropriation for the fiscal year 1995 from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund (M.L. 1995, Chp. 220, Sec. 19, Subd. 20b.) This appropriation was used to acquire approximately 175 acres of land within Washington, Dakota, and Anoka Counties.

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Cannon Valley Trail Repair
$175,000 TF

Bruce Blair
City of Cannon Falls
306 West Mill Street
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

Phone:  (507) 263-3954

Appropriation added by the 1995 Legislature to the LCMR Recommendations

This project funded repairs to the Cannon Valley Trail in Cannon Falls, MN. Construction of a gabion basket retaining wall at the base of a slope failure zone has provided protection from erosion sufficient to keep the trail attached to the side of a hill. Safety railing along the path and a vehicle guardrail along the township road were also constructed to offer protection from the wall to path users and drivers. Finally, appropriate native vegetation was planted in disturbed areas and on the retaining wall. As the wall weathers and the vegetation matures, the whole project should blend nicely into this visually sensitive area.