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The Mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
With a strong emphasis on science, The Nature Conservancy uses multiple land protection strategies; such as outright land acquisition, community involvement, conservation easements and collaborations with like-minded organizations to achieve our mission.
Minnesota has three primary habitat types: grasslands, forests and freshwater. The Nature Conservancy aims to protect these major habitat types via on-the-ground projects to benefit people and nature.
Goals: 1) The Nature Conservancy continues to be in the business of buying land that is identified as the best examples of their kind due to their size, quality and location. Grasslands are a high priority for our Chapter. After a piece of land is purchased it often requires restoration and on-going management. Conservancy land managers work with neighboring landowners to teach best management practices including prescribed burning, rotational grazing management and invasive species control. Scientific monitoring provides data on whether or not management practices are producing the expected results. And based on those results, management practices are often adapted to improve outcomes. The Nature Conservancy is also working to demonstrate the economic benefits of grasslands for the production of bioenergy.
2) Minnesota's northern forests contribute significantly to native plant and animal habitat, our economy and opportunities for year-round recreation. The Nature Conservancy has been building a presence in northern Minnesota for many years, and we have established strong community-based programs. As a result, we have recently secured the long-term protection of more than 60,000 acres of forest habitat.
Minnesota 's scenic northwoods are critical to economic stability in the region. This popular and treasured landscape is being preserved by The Nature Conservancy through outright land purchases, negotiating voluntary conservation easements that protect land from subdivision and development, and working with a broad array of partners in forest restoration across the landscape. The Nature Conservancy's forest manager works closely with the forest industry on management practices that maintain tree species diversity of our northern forests.
3) Freshwater work is the newest focus area for the Conservancy and is primarily concentrated on Lake Superior, the Brainerd Lakes Area, and the upper Mississippi River. We partner with farmers, businesses, government and other conservation organizations to implement healthy freshwater practices. Our work includes recreating fish spawning habitat, creating shoreline buffers on tributaries of the Mississippi, and completing flood plain restoration in the watershed. Much of our work is to demonstrate and model the positive impacts to freshwater quality of the practices implemented.
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