On July 31, 2012, conservation groups and government agencies signed a momentous Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU calls the initiative
the Minnesota Prairie Protection Plan. The plan dedicates $3.5 billion over the next 25 years to protect and restore 2.2 million acres of prairies, grasslands, wetlands, and other wildlife habitat in western Minnesota.
Some interesting facts: One percent of Minnesota’s 10,000 year old prairie remains intact 204,000 out of 18 million acres that were around just 150 years ago. The plan calls for conservation of “working lands” where sustainable livestock grazing by cattle and bison occurs. See the Working Lands Initiative. $1.1 billion of the funding comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund created by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008. $2.4 billion of the funding comes from other sources. What are those other sources? The MOU doesn’t say. Is this specified anywhere?
Josephine Marcotty wrote an excellent article on the Minnesota Prairie Protection Plan in the Star Tribune. Also check out the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan of 2011. Find a link on this Minnesota DNR webpage.