Habitat Conservation Partnership Announces Milestone


Habitat Conservation Partnership Announces Milestone


Wright County, Minnesota - Minnesota's Habitat Conservation Partnership, an Environmental Trust Fund supported effort, announced today that it has surpassed a significant milestone for the restoration, management and protection of Minnesota wildlife habitats. A crowd of 50 people gathered at the Henry Lake restoration in Wright County today to celebrate and dedicate the 100,000th acre accomplishment.

"100,000 acres is truly awesome," said Matt Holland, project coordinator for the partnership and senior field coordinator for Pheasants Forever. "The Henry Lake restoration project is representative of how this Partnership works. Multiple groups, doing habitat restoration in a focused area that builds upon existing conservation investments made by the state. By working together and bringing additional funding to bear on Minnesota resources, we are making a difference for wildlife, fish, plants and the citizens of Minnesota." Holland went on to say, "This event was organized to recognize the hard work, vision, and leadership of many people that have made this result possible."

The work is not done however, "While the 100,000-acre milestone is a fantastic accomplishment, our needs continue to outpace our capacity to deal with habitat issues," stated Jane Prohaska, project partner and executive director of the Minnesota Land Trust. "Tremendous pressure is being put on our grasslands wetlands, lakes and forests. The lottery proceeds allocated to the Partnership have provided a catalyst for good habitat work, and we need to continue being as efficient as possible with our limited habitat dollars."

The Partnership currently reports 102,659 acres in over 650 wildlife habitat restoration, enhancement and protection projects for Minnesota. Total expenditures to date exceed $85 million dollars. A total of $19.4 million came from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the remainder, $65.7 million, has come from the project partners. "The collaborative effort and seed money from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources [lottery proceeds] have been multiplied over three-fold," said Tom Landwehr, project partner and assistant state director for The Nature Conservancy, "We have leveraged these dollars to bring over $65 million in federal and private sources to restore, enhance and protect Minnesota's grasslands, forests, lakes and streams."

The Partnership was formed and funded by the 2001 Minnesota Legislature, as recommended by the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, to work to restore fragmented landscapes and connect high quality habitat for the purpose of sustaining fish, wildlife and plant populations. Funding is provided by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the participating partners. The Partnership provides for a statewide coordination of existing federal, state and private land and water conservation programs. The project focuses these programs and resources on identified project focus areas that have high potential for restoring and enhancing functional habitats benefiting Minnesota. The Partnership is one of the largest and most unique conservation collaborations in the country.

Minnesota Habitat Conservation Partnership

The mission of Minnesota's Habitat Conservation Partnership is to restore, enhance, and conserve habitat for the purpose of sustaining fish, wildlife and native plant communities for all generations.

Member Organizations

Ducks Unlimited * Fond du Lac Reservation * Friends of the Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe * Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources * Minnesota Deer Hunters Association * Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Minnesota Land Trust * Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc. * National Wild Turkey Federation * Pheasants Forever * Red Lake Band of Chippewa * The Nature Conservancy * Trust for Public Land * U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service * U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service

Media Contact:
Matt Holland, Pheasants Forever (320)354-4377

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