5.2 Land Conservation Program
The opportunity exists to create connections between ecosystems within the Lake Minnetonka subwatersheds and the Mississippi River to improve water quality, preserve natural conveyances, and facilitate the movement and proliferation of native species as well as enhance recreational opportunities. The District will prioritize Land Conservation Program activities in the Minnehaha Creek Subwatershed based on meeting one of the following criteria:
- § Connecting or expanding existing public lands;
- § As part of a restoration project; or
- § Leveraging redevelopment opportunities.
Figure 19 identifies priority areas in the watershed, the conservation of which will improve the characteristics of the aquatic ecosystem and the water quality within the subwatershed as well as areas downstream.
The District operates a Land Conservation Program that undertakes conservation activities ranging from assisting property owners in enrolling property in conservation programs to acquiring easements or fee title over high value resources. Some of the key conservation areas identified on Figure 19 are located within a current Land Conservation Program target area or have been proposed for addition to the target area. The District will continue to proactively investigate opportunities to conserve key resources within the Minnehaha Creek subwatershed, and will work cooperatively with other agencies and groups to accomplish this subwatershed’s conservation goals. The District will provide technical assistance to the LGUs to identify and implement strategies for local conservation efforts in support of program goals.