The Longspur Prairie Fund and the Minnesota Prairie Plan
At the time of the Public Land Survey (1847-1908), Minnesota had 18 million acres of prairie. Today only a little over 1 percent (map) of native prairie remains. The Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan (PDF) focuses efforts on grassland and wetland, creating partnership between federal agencies, state agencies, and the state’s most active conservation organizations. The plan identifies core conservation areas and creates a vision of a connected landscape from Canada to Iowa.
The Longspur Prairie Fund is a partner in the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan and its core strategies:
Protection: Maintain habitat through conservation easements on private land or acquisition of public land.
Restoration: Grassland and wetland reconstruction to contribute to functional systems and viable species populations.
Enhancement: Activities that improve habitats and functionality of a grassland or wetland (prescribed burning, conservation grazing/haying, control of invasive species).
Why preserve native prairie?
Prior to European settlement, more than 18 million acres of prairie covered Minnesota. A wealth of diverse species and habitats thrived here. Today, with less than two percent of the state's native prairie remaining, it is North America's most endangered habitat type. Restoring our grasslands leads to positive effects for our biodiversity, our soil health, our agricultural communities, and for global climate.
Currently, two LPF sites are a part of the Minnesota Prairie Restoration Plan (see maps below):