Our goal in the PPJV is to continue working together in partnership during both wet and dry years so the “table” is always set for when sufficient snow and rain falls on the prairies. In this issue of the e-news, we present some of the highlights from the PPJV for the last year by reporting on a number of state-specific accomplishments – accomplishments that help keep the “table” set.
The Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan 2010 (MPCP) provides strategic direction for prairie upland and wetland habitat work. A completed plan is an accomplishment on its own, but without funding for implementation, often the actions in such plans are not completed. Fortunately, with the 2008 constitutional amendment increasing the Minnesota state sales tax by 3/8 of 1%, a strong and steady stream of funding was available to implement this plan.
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks works cooperatively with farmers and ranchers to better manage wetland and grassland habitats. In 2014 GFP private lands biologists completed 75 projects with private landowner cooperators to enhance or restore 9,870 acres of upland habitat and 18 acres of wetland habitat within the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture.
Conservation partners in the Prairie Pothole Region of Montana, also referred to as the “Hi-Line”, have been delivering conservation for almost 30 years. Over the last 19 years, five NAWCA grants have conserved over 107,000 acres of grassland and wetland habitat. The most recent NAWCA grant will conserve more than 7,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat.
Populations of several species of breeding shorebirds in the PPR appear to be experiencing long-term declines. Marbled godwit, long-billed curlew, willet, Wilson’s phalarope, and American avocet are priority species, and Montana is an important state for them. To gain a better understanding of their vital rates, PPJV partners adopted a long-term adaptive conservation process that includes the Montana breeding shorebird project.
Conservation partners have come together to work on a large landscape-level project in the heart of the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. The Glaciated Wetland and Prairies project area is a very unique landscape containing some of the most numerous, productive and diverse wetland communities in the world. These wetlands are being threatened by surface and pattern tile drainage by agriculture, along with the conversion of native prairies to cropland.