LCCMR Habitat Corridors Partnership Restoration

Minnesota Deer Hunters Association along with the Habitat Conservation Partnership has completed six phases of funding from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on MN Resources (LCCMR) from the Environmental and Natural Resource Trust Fund.

Between 1991 and 2010, the legislature appropriated nearly $310 million from the Trust Fund to 746 projects throughout the state of Minnesota!  Together, the partnership has been able to provide over $600,000 of that $310 million to do habitat restoration and acquisitions in Minnesota!

Phase I 

MDHA and partners spent over $270,000 this phase for restoration and acquisition activities with all funds included.  MDHA and partners restored over 200 acres of habitat corridors suitable for whitetail deer and other wildlife through management practices. During this phase of funding the restorations were located on the following: Elm Lake WMA, Eldorado WMA, Doran WMA, Four Brooks WMA, Thief Lake WMA, Jacksnipe WMA, Regal Flats WMA, Succonix WMA, Corina WMA, and the Higinbotham WMA.

MDHA and partners acquired over 750 acres of habitat from willing sellers to expanded/created habitat corridors suitable for whitetail deer and other wildlife. These acquired parcels were donated to the DNR to ensure public access. Acquisitions that have been achieved through this phase of funding through partnerships include: The Doran WMA 300 acre addition, Eldorado WMA 9.5 acre addition, Regal Flats WMA approximate 300 acre addition, Manannah WMA 80 Acre addition, Timber Lake WMA 17 acre addition, Banks WMA 32 acre addition, Flatgard WMA 35 acre addition and the Horseshoe Lake WMA 2 acre addition. For more information on these WMA’s log on to http://www.dnr.state. mn.us/wmas/index.html and browse through WMAs in your area!

Phase II

MDHA and partners spent over $180,000 this phase for restoration and acquisition activities with all matching funds included. Restoration activities included approximately 250 acres of Woodland and Grassland enhancements on the following sites: Whitewater WMA, Talcot Lake WMA, Succonix WMA, Rydell Wildlife Refuge and over 100 acres in the Rushford Township area.  During Phase II of the LCC MR Funding the partnership secured 90 Acres of land on the Caron Lake AMA. This area contained 3800 feet of natural shoreline and will provide forage, nesting and cover for a variety of big and small game species, as well as a diversity of non-game species.

Phase III

MDHA completed three projects during Phase III. The first project was a wetland restoration project that was completed on the Erskine WPA in the fall of 2006. This project included the restoration of 89 wetland basins (45 total acres) at a cost of $43,694 in ENTF funds and $10,000 of matching funds. second project was a forest restoration project on the Cloquet Research Forest which was completed in the Spring of 2006. The project involved four acres of red oak planting with protection tubing to deter animal damage at a cost of $2,499 in ENTF funds.  The third project restored sugar maple, American basswood, and northern burr oak seedlings on 10 acres within the Rydel National Refuge. Seedlings will provide needed cover and mast for white-tail deer and non-game birds and mammals.  Seedlings were tubed to protect them from damage and ensure survival in the hope of establishing a sustainable cover type. Cost of the project is $3,807 in ENTF funds with a match of $8,000 in other funds. The total project cost was $68,000 with match monies on 60 acres of land.

Phase IV

During this Phase of funding from LCCMR MDHA and partners spent approximately $49,000 or restoration activities.  MDHA funding restored a total of 32 wetland basins consisting of 18.5 acres on the Buchl, Kruger, and Donley/ Tillman waterfowl production areas (WPAs). Also, 25.3 acres of oak savannah habitats were enhanced on the Winger

>MDHA & LCCMR Funding Six Phases and Hundreds of Thousands Spent on Habitat!

By Kim Nelson

Pre-Restoration

Post-Restoration

WPA bringing the work completed under this project to 43.8 –acres. Federal WPAs are managed for waterfowl production and are open to public hunting and other recreation consistent with the National Wildlife Refuge System. Specifically, on Kruger WPA (Becker County Callaway Township Sections 15, 16, 21, 22) we restored 20 basins for 12.5 acres, on Buchl WPA (Becker County-Riceville Township Section 10) we restored one basin for 0.5 acres, and on Donley Tillman WPA (Becker County- Riceville Township Sections 13 & 14) we restored 11 basins for 5.5 acres. In addition, we enhanced 25.31-acres of oak savannah (grassland enhancement) on Winger WPA (Polk County-Winger Township, Section 2). All work was done in partnership with the USFWS Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District and other funds were secured and provided for through North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants which are federal in origin.

Phase V

During this Phase of funding from LCCMR MDHA and partners spent approximately $62,000 on restoration activities. MDHA funding restored a total of two oak savannahs (grassland enhancement) consisting of 14.69 acres on the Winger WPA. Federal WPAs are managed for waterfowl production and are open to public hunting and other recreation consistent with the National Wildlife Refuge System. This restoration to the oak savannahs will create suitable habitat for deer, turkey, ruffed grouse, and other cavity nesting birds. Specifically, on the Winger WPA (Polk County Winger Township 147, Range 42, Section 2) we restored 2 oak savannahs for 14.69 acres by shearing and piling undesirable trees such as box elder, cottonwood, willow, and aspen which opened the landscape to promote savannah habitat. Large and small oak trees were not cut and the seedlings were flagged to prevent accidental damage. All work was done in partnership with the USFWS Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District and other funds were secured and provided by the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Hides for Habitat funds.  Post mound podium signs were purchased with a portion of the appropriation money and were placed on the Winger WPA in May of 2010. These signs state the nature of the oak savannah and the future management as well as the partners involved.

Phase VI

During this Phase of funding from LCCMR MDHA and partners spent approximately $65,000 on restoration activities. MDHA and USFWS funding restored a total of eight oak savannahs (grassland enhancement) consisting of 35 acres on the Winger WPA. Federal WPAs are managed for waterfowl production and are open to public hunting and other recreation consistent with the National Wildlife Refuge System. This restoration to the oak savannahs will create suitable habitat for deer, turkey, ruffed grouse, and other cavity nesting birds. Specifically, on the Winger WPA (Polk County Winger Township 147, Range 42, Section 2) we restored 35 acres of oak savannah by shearing and piling undesirable trees such as boxelder, cottonwood, willow, and aspen which opened the landscape to promote savannah habitat. Large and small oak trees were not cut and the seedlings were flagged to prevent accidental damage. All work was done in partnership with the USFWS Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District and other funds were secured and provided by the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Hides for Habitat funds.

Pre-Restoration

Post-Restoration

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service