Saint Paul, Minn. – Three Minnesota Pheasants Forever wildlife habitat projects totaling over 600 acres were awarded funding as part of the first round of Lessard – Sams Conservation Partners Legacy Grants. The Lessard – Sams Conservation Partners Legacy Grants program is designed to restore, enhance or protect fish, game and wildlife habitat.
The program is an initiative of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC). Funding for the projects comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, created when Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.
Prairie Storm WPA Addition – Stearns County This project encompasses the acquisition of 78 acres as an addition to the adjacent 320-acre Prairie Storm Waterfowl Production Area (WPA). After purchase, the land will be donated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and managed as a WPA open to public hunting and outdoor recreation. Lessard – Sams Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Awarded: $159,000
Big Kandiyohi Lake WPA Land Acquisitions – Kandiyohi County Two tracts – currently cropland – totaling 58 acres will connect two large existing WPAs (the 820-acre Big Kandiyohi Lake WPA & 312-acre Lake Lillian WPA). After purchase, the land will be donated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and managed as a WPA open to public hunting and outdoor recreation. Lessard – Sams Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Awarded: $125,000
Enhancement/Restoration Grant – Otter Tail and Stearns Counties This project has two aspects: 1) Enhancement project will allow for the purchase of additional seed to augment the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s seed mix diversity for the restoration of 480 acres of grasslands in Otter Tail County. The improved diversity will provide improved habitat for a variety of grassland birds. 2) Restoration project involves removal and chemical treatment of invasive volunteer trees that have degraded existing grassland habitats. Main area of focus for these projects will be on state Wildlife Management Areas in western Stearns County. Lessard – Sams Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Awarded: $45,737
For the first year of the Lessard – Sams Conservation Partners Legacy Grants program, $3.74 million was awarded to fund 35 conservation projects around the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A total of 127 applications totaling $16.5 million were received during the first round of the applications. Local, state and federal non-profit organizations, along with governmental entities, were eligible to apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $400,000. A complete list of the successful grant applications can be found online.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. “The Habitat Organization” has 125,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.