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Land-Use Policy to Conserve Resources in Southeastern Minnesota.

Local, state, federal, and international organizations have made significant progress in recent decades to preserve open space and protect undeveloped land in Minnesota. However, conservation organizations, often working with limited resources, do not always have a plan for managing these properties. One environmentally sensitive area without a comprehensive management plan is the Zumbro River and Weaver Dunes area in the Upper Mississippi River Valley in southeastern Minnesota. Wetlands, tributaries to the Mississippi River, terraces, and upland sand dunes in the area contribute to a complex landscape that provides critical habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species. As part of a larger project to help inform planning decisions for long-term restoration and maintenance of this area, Susy S. Ziegler (Department of Geography) will use geographic information systems (GIS) to define, delineate, and catalog the functions of landscape elements in Wabasha County; analyze current land-use policies of selected towns on the Mississippi, Zumbro, and Whitewater Rivers; and propose land-use policy changes that incorporate an understanding of the dynamic nature of the various functions of the landscape. The long-term goal of this research is to help The Nature Conservancy, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other stakeholders make planning decisions to conserve the environmentally sensitive blufflands in the Upper Mississippi River watershed.

Project Award Date: 
Reports and related files
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737