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Linking Habitat Restoration to Bioenergy and Local Economies

Linking Habitat Restoration to Bioenergy and Local Economies (a.k.a. Woody Biomass Harvest for Habitat Restoration) was an innovative project helping to restore high quality native plant communities by removing ecologically inappropriate woody vegetation (exotic and/or native species) while stimulating local economies through strategic utilization of the biomass material for bioenergy or other products. The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological and Water Resources (DNR) received $600,000 from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) and funded by the 2010 Legislature. Funds were granted through a competitive process to public or private landowners for the cutting, moving and staging of woody biomass material generated as a by-product of restoration. Participating landowners agreed to donate the woody biomass material to the DNR who managed the sale of the material to local established and emerging woody biomass markets. Revenues collected were reinvested for further purposes of the project.

Program Objectives

Goal: Restore valuable habitats while stimulating local economies through strategic utilization of the biomass material for bioenergy or other products. Objectives: • Restore critical habitats and high quality native plant communities and enhance biodiversity. • Utilize woody biomass material by expanding market opportunities for biomass traditionally burned or landfilled. • Stimulate local woody biomass markets, support local businesses and NGO’s, and employ labor crews, such as Conservation Corps Minnesota; complete a variety of types of projects (based on species/type of woody plant material, density, distance, land ownership, utilization opportunity, etc.).

Status: Completed

Start Date: 07/01/2010

Active Projects: (1) Active Projects

Completed Projects: (10) Completed Projects

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Indicator: Acres treated for habitat restoration by removing ecologically inappropriate woody vegetation

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