4.1.2 Functional Assessment of Wetlands
In 2001-2003 the District undertook a Functional Assessment of Wetlands (FAW) on all wetlands greater than one-quarter acre in size. This assessment used a variant of the Minnesota Routine Assessment Method developed in partnership with the Hennepin Conservation District to assess wetland functions and values. The intent of completing this analysis was to provide a comprehensive inventory and assessment of existing wetland functions and values, both for District management purposes and to assist the municipalities within the District by providing consistent, comprehensive wetland resources data.
Using the results of that analysis, individual wetlands were assigned to one of four categories – Preserve, and Manage 1, 2, or 3. Wetlands that were evaluated as Exceptional or High on certain ecological or hydrologic values were assigned to the Preserve category. The balance of evaluated wetlands were assigned to a category based on this assessment of current functions and values, with Manage 1 wetlands exhibiting higher values and Manage 2 and 3 moderate or lower values. These management classifications will be used in regulating and protecting wetlands based on their function and existing condition.