Our Legislative Priorities
FORESTS FOR THE FUTURE
One way to keep these lands intact is through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forests for the Future program (MFF).
Forests for the Future is a voluntary conservation easement program administered by the DNR to conserve private working forest lands for their many benefits. Landowners receive compensation for an easement on their forest lands, and in return prevent the land from being converted to cropland or subdivided.
Once enrolled, lands can still be used for timber harvest, firewood cutting, hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, maple syrup production, nature observation and other traditional forest uses.
Our Recommendation: $7 Million in Bonding to MFF
RIM WORKING GRASSLANDS EASEMENTS
Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Working Grassland Easements are another important program for water quality. Grasslands continue to be at risk of being converted to cropland threatening water quality.
Retaining grasslands in the headwaters is essential to preventing additional nutrients entering the lakes and rivers of the region and preventing groundwater withdrawal. Working Grasslands Easements are a voluntary conservation program administered by the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to conserve private working grasslands, grazing lands and ranching lands for the many water benefits they provide.
Landowners receive compensation for an easement, and in return prevent the land from being subdivided or converted to cropland. Once enrolled, lands can continue be used for ranching, grazing, and haying, hunting and other traditional uses.
Our Recommendation: $3 million in Bonding to RIM Working Grasslands
As state-owned forested lands are managed and harvested, there is a need to reforest these landscapes and other state-owned lands in need of forest restoration. This includes state parks, state forests, wildlife management areas and other public lands managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Ensuring there are adequate trees on state forested landscapes provides significant water filtration resulting in water quality improvements, erosion control, habitat, carbon sequestration and improves air quality.
It’s also great for Minnesotans who like to get out and enjoy these public lands for recreation!