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FY2023 Final Appropriation Language and Accomplishment Plans

M.L. 2022, Regular Session, Chapter 77, Article 1, Section 2


Subd. 2. Prairies

2(a) Accelerating the Wildlife Management Area Program, Phase XIV
$5,660,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever to acquire in fee and restore and enhance lands for wildlife management area purposes under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(b) RIM Grasslands Reserve, Phase IV
$4,536,000 the second year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance grassland habitat under Minnesota Statutes, sections 103F.501 to 103F.531. Of this amount, up to $73,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report.

2(c) Prairie Chicken Habitat Partnership of the Southern Red River Valley, Phase VIII
$4,440,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever, in cooperation with the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, to acquire land in fee and restore and enhance lands within the southern Red River Valley for wildlife management purposes under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8, or lands to be designated and managed as waterfowl production areas in Minnesota, in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(d) Minnesota Prairie Recovery Program, Phase XII
$4,512,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Nature Conservancy to acquire land in fee and restore and enhance native prairie, grasslands, wetlands, and savanna. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. Annual income statements and balance sheets for income and expenses from land acquired with this appropriation must be submitted to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council no later than 180 days following the close of The Nature Conservancy's fiscal year. A list of proposed land acquisitions, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan and must be consistent with the priorities identified in the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan.

2(e) Enhanced Public Land - Open Landscapes, Phase II
$2,557,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever, in cooperation with the Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society, to acquire land in fee under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8, and restore and enhance lands for wildlife management purposes. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(f) RIM Buffers for Wildlife and Water, Phase X
$4,392,000 the second year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements and restore habitat under Minnesota Statutes, section 103F.515, to protect, restore, and enhance habitat by expanding the riparian buffer program under the clean water fund for additional wildlife benefits from buffers on private land. Of this amount, up to $111,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report.

2(g) Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge Land Acquisition, Phase XIII
$3,870,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Nature Conservancy, in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to acquire land in fee or permanent conservation easements and restore and enhance lands within the Northern Tallgrass Prairie Habitat Preservation Area in western Minnesota for addition to the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan and must be consistent with the priorities in the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan.

2(h) Martin County DNR WMA Acquisition, Phase VI
$1,978,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire land in fee and restore and enhance strategic prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitat in Martin and Watonwan Counties for wildlife management area purposes under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8, as follows: $1,512,000 to Fox Lake Conservation League, Inc.; $417,000 to Ducks Unlimited; and $49,000 to The Conservation Fund. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2(i) DNR Grassland Enhancement, Phase XIV
$3,088,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to accelerate the restoration and enhancement of prairies, grasslands, and savannas in wildlife management areas, in scientific and natural areas, in aquatic management areas, on lands in the native prairie bank, in bluff prairies on state forest land in southeastern Minnesota, and in waterfowl production areas and refuge lands of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. A list of proposed land restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

Subd. 3. Forests

3(a) Minnesota Forest Recovery Project, Phase II
$4,585,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Nature Conservancy in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Land Trust to acquire permanent conservation easements and restore and enhance degraded forests in Beltrami, Cass, Cook, Itasca, Lake, Koochiching, and St. Louis Counties. Of this amount, up to $179,000 is to the easement holder to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed permanent conservation easements, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

3(b) Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Protection Program ACUB, Phase X
$2,983,000 the second year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources, in cooperation with the Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation District, to acquire permanent conservation easements and restore and enhance forest wildlife habitat within the boundaries of the Minnesota National Guard Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape and Army Compatible Use Buffer. Up to $189,000 to the Board of Water and Soil Resources is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report.

3(c) Minnesota Forests for the Future, Phase IX
$2,501,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire lands in conservation easements and to restore and enhance forests, wetlands, and shoreline habitat through working forest permanent conservation easements under the Minnesota forests for the future program according to Minnesota Statutes, section 84.66. A conservation easement acquired with money appropriated under this paragraph must comply with Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 13. The accomplishment plan must include an easement monitoring and enforcement plan. Of this amount, up to $220,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report.

3(d) Big Woods Protection at Stieg Woods
$1,020,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Rogers to acquire land in fee and restore and enhance forest habitat for wildlife in Hennepin County. A list of proposed acquisitions, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

3(e) DNR Forest Habitat Enhancement, Phase II
$2,172,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to restore and enhance wildlife habitat within the northern forest region in wildlife management areas, scientific and natural areas, aquatic management areas, and state forests. A list of proposed land restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

Subd. 4. Wetlands

4(a) Accelerating the Waterfowl Production Area Acquisition Program, Phase XIV
$5,537,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pheasants Forever, in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to acquire land in fee and restore and enhance wetlands and grasslands to be designated and managed as waterfowl production areas in Minnesota. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(b) Wetland Habitat Protection and Restoration Program, Phase VII
$3,330,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Minnesota Land Trust to acquire permanent conservation easements and restore and enhance prairie, wetland, and other habitat on permanently protected conservation easements within high-priority wetland habitat complexes in the prairie and forest/prairie transition regions. Of this amount, up to $240,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund, as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed conservation easement acquisitions, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(c) Wild-Rice Shoreland Protection, Phase VIII
$1,470,000 the second year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements on wild-rice lake shoreland habitat for native wild-rice bed protection. Of this amount, up to $91,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report.

4(d) Shallow Lake and Wetland Protection and Restoration Program, Phase XI
$4,779,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Ducks Unlimited to acquire land in fee for wildlife management purposes under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8, and to restore and enhance prairie lands, wetlands, and land buffering shallow lakes. A list of proposed acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(e) RIM Wetlands, Phase XI
$4,199,000 the second year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore wetlands and native grassland habitat under Minnesota Statutes, section 103F.515. Of this amount, up to $78,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the final report.

4(f) Living Shallow Lake Enhancement and Wetland Restoration Initiative, Phase VIII
$5,155,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Ducks Unlimited to restore and enhance shallow lakes and wetlands on public lands and wetlands under permanent conservation easement for wildlife management. A list of proposed shallow lake enhancements and wetland restorations must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

4(g) Accelerated Shallow Lakes and Wetland Enhancement, Phase XIV
$2,301,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to enhance and restore shallow lakes and wetland habitat statewide. A list of proposed shallow lake and wetland restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

Subd. 5. Habitat

5(a) Dakota County Habitat Protection/Restoration, Phase VIII
$6,066,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Dakota County to acquire permanent conservation easements and land in fee and to restore and enhance riparian and other wildlife habitats in Dakota County. A list of proposed land acquisitions and restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(b) Integrating Habitat and Clean Water
$2,358,000 the second year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to acquire permanent conservation easements and restore and enhance wildlife habitat identified in One Watershed, One Plan for stacked benefit to wildlife and clean water. Up to $65,000 of the total amount is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed acquisitions must be included as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(c) Protecting Coldwater Fisheries on Minnesota's North Shore, Phase II
$3,395,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Minnesota Land Trust to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat in priority coldwater tributaries to Lake Superior. Of this amount, up to $240,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed conservation easement acquisitions, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(d) Southeast Minnesota Protection and Restoration, Phase X
$5,358,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements as follows: (1) $1,817,000 to The Nature Conservancy to acquire lands in fee for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5; for state forests under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 7; and for aquatic management areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 14, and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat; (2) $1,430,000 to The Trust for Public Land to acquire lands in fee for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5; for state forests under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 7; and for aquatic management areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 14; and (3) $2,111,000 to Minnesota Land Trust to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat, of which $216,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(e) Mississippi Headwaters Habitat Corridor Project, Phase VII
$5,465,000 the second year is to acquire lands in fee and permanent conservation easements and to restore wildlife habitat in the Mississippi headwaters. Of this amount, (1) $3,814,000 is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements as follows: $54,000 is to the Mississippi Headwaters Board and $3,760,000 is to The Trust for Public Land; and (2) $1,651,000 is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources, of which up to $150,000 is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed acquisitions must be included as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(f) Shell Rock River Watershed Habitat Restoration Program, Phase XI
$1,438,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Shell Rock River Watershed District to acquire land in fee and to restore and enhance habitat in the Shell Rock River watershed. A list of proposed acquisitions, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(g) DNR Wildlife Management Area and Scientific and Natural Area Acquisition, Phase XIV
$1,426,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire in fee and restore and enhance lands for wildlife management purposes under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8, and to acquire land in fee for scientific and natural area purposes under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(h) Cannon River Watershed Habitat Restoration and Protection Program, Phase XI
$2,636,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Trust for Public Land, in cooperation with Great River Greening and Clean River Partners, to acquire lands in fee in the Cannon River watershed for wildlife management under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; to acquire lands in fee for aquatic management purposes under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 14; to acquire lands in fee for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 5; to acquire lands in fee for state forests under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 7; to acquire lands in fee for county forests or natural areas; and to restore and enhance lands in the Cannon River watershed. Of this amount, $1,651,000 is to The Trust for Public Land; $828,000 is to Great River Greening; and $157,000 is to Clean River Partners. Subject to evaluation criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 6136.0900, priority must be given to acquiring lands that are eligible for the native prairie bank under Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, or lands adjacent to protected native prairie. A list of proposed land acquisitions and restorations must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(i) Washington County Habitat Protection and Restoration Partnership
$4,288,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat on public lands and easements in Washington County as follows: $968,000 is to Washington County and $3,320,000 is to Minnesota Land Trust, of which up to $288,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish monitoring and enforcement funds as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed permanent conservation easements, restorations, and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(j) Metro Big Rivers, Phase XII
$8,200,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire land in fee and permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance natural habitat systems associated with the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix Rivers and their tributaries within the metropolitan area as follows: $1,100,000 to Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc.; $643,000 to Friends of the Mississippi River; $742,000 to Great River Greening; $2,927,000 to Trust for Public Land; and $2,788,000 to Minnesota Land Trust, of which up to $216,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of proposed land acquisitions and permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(k) St. Croix Watershed Habitat Protection and Restoration, Phase III
$3,704,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements as follows: (1) $1,449,000 to The Trust for Public Land to acquire land in fee; (2) $2,160,000 to Minnesota Land Trust to acquire permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance natural habitat systems in the St. Croix River watershed. Of this amount, up to $192,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17; and (3) $95,000 to the Wild Rivers Conservancy to coordinate and administer the program under this paragraph. A list of proposed land acquisitions and permanent conservation easements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(l) Fisheries Habitat Protection on Strategic North Central Minnesota Lakes, Phase VIII
$4,536,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire land in fee and permanent conservation easements and to restore and enhance wildlife habitat to sustain healthy fish habitat on coldwater lakes in Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, and Hubbard Counties as follows: $1,853,000 to Northern Waters Land Trust; and $2,683,000 to Minnesota Land Trust, of which up to $216,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(m) Sauk River Watershed Habitat Protection and Restoration, Phase IV
$4,091,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for agreements to acquire lands in fee and permanent conservation easements and restore and enhance wildlife habitat in the Sauk River watershed as follows: $1,601,000 to Sauk River Watershed District; $1,245,000 to Pheasants Forever; and $1,245,000 to Minnesota Land Trust. Up to $192,000 to Minnesota Land Trust is to establish a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 17. A list of acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(n) DNR Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Enhancement, Phase V
$5,177,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to restore and enhance aquatic habitat in degraded streams and aquatic management areas and to facilitate fish passage. A list of proposed land restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(o) Klondike Clean Water Retention Project, Phase II
$988,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Two Rivers Watershed District to construct a multipurpose water impoundment project in Kittson and Roseau Counties to provide fish and wildlife habitat. A list of restoration and enhancement projects must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(p) Buffalo River Watershed Stream Habitat Program, Phase II
$2,407,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District to restore and enhance aquatic and upland habitat associated with the Buffalo River and tributaries in the Buffalo River watershed. A list of proposed restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(q) St. Louis River Restoration Initiative, Phase IX
$4,916,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to restore and enhance priority aquatic, riparian, and forest habitats in the St. Louis River estuary. Of this amount, up to $964,000 is for an agreement with Minnesota Land Trust. A list of proposed restorations must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(r) DNR Fish Passage Enhancement through Targeted Culvert Replacement, Phase I
$852,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources to restore and enhance fish passage in coldwater streams through targeted culvert replacement in Lake County. A list of proposed restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(s) Restoring and Enhancing Minnesota's Important Bird Areas, Phase III
$2,140,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Audubon Minnesota to restore and enhance wildlife habitat within important bird areas in northwestern Minnesota or Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan Priority areas. A list of proposed land restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(t) Enhance Metro and North Shore Trout Stream Habitats
$1,158,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Trout Unlimited to restore and enhance habitat for trout and other species in and along coldwater rivers, lakes, and streams in the metro, North Shore, and southeast regions of Minnesota. A list of proposed restorations and enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(u) Daylighting Phalen Creek
$3,312,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Lower Phalen Creek Project to restore and enhance priority aquatic and riparian habitats associated with Phalen Creek in St. Paul. A list of proposed restorations must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

5(v) Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program: Statewide and Metro Habitat, Phase XIV
$9,450,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for a program to provide competitive matching grants of up to $500,000 to local, regional, state, and national organizations for enhancing, restoring, or protecting forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat for fish, game, or wildlife in Minnesota. Of this amount, at least $2,500,000 is for grants in the seven-county metropolitan area and cities with a population of 50,000 or greater. Grants must not be made for activities required to fulfill the duties of owners of lands subject to conservation easements. Grants must not be made from the appropriation in this paragraph for projects that have a total project cost exceeding $1,000,000. Of the total appropriation, $450,000 may be spent for personnel costs and other direct and necessary administrative costs. Grantees may acquire land or interests in land. Easements must be permanent. Grants may not be used to establish easement stewardship accounts. Land acquired in fee must be open to hunting and fishing during the open season unless otherwise provided by law. The program must require a match of at least ten percent from nonstate sources for all grants. The match may be cash or in-kind resources. For grant applications of $25,000 or less, the commissioner must provide a separate, simplified application process. Subject to Minnesota Statutes, the commissioner of natural resources must, when evaluating projects of equal value, give priority to organizations that have a history of receiving, or a charter to receive, private contributions for local conservation or habitat projects. For grant requests to acquire land in fee or a conservation easement, the commissioner must give priority to projects associated with or within one mile of existing wildlife management areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 8; scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, sections 84.033 and 86A.05, subdivision 5; or aquatic management areas under Minnesota Statutes, sections 86A.05, subdivision 14, and 97C.02. All restoration or enhancement projects must be on land permanently protected by a permanent covenant ensuring perpetual maintenance and protection of restored and enhanced habitat, by a conservation easement or public ownership, or in public waters as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.005, subdivision 15. Priority must be given to restoration and enhancement projects on public lands. Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 13, applies to grants awarded under this paragraph. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2026. No less than five percent of the amount of each grant must be held back from reimbursement until the grant recipient has completed a grant accomplishment report by the deadline and in the form prescribed by and satisfactory to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The commissioner must provide notice of the grant program in the summary of game and fish law prepared under Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.051, subdivision 2.

Subd. 6. Administration

6(a) Contract Management
$300,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for contract management duties assigned in this section. The commissioner must provide an accomplishment plan in the form specified by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council on expending this appropriation. The accomplishment plan must include a copy of the grant contract template and reimbursement manual. No money may be expended before the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council approves the accomplishment plan.

6(b) Technical Evaluation Panel
$200,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for a technical evaluation panel to conduct up to 25 restoration and enhancement evaluations under Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.056, subdivision 10.

6(c) Initial Development Plan Coordinator
$123,000 the second year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an initial development plan coordinator position to coordinate, manage, and report on the initial development, restoration, and enhancement of fee title acquisitions in wildlife management areas and aquatic management areas that were acquired with money from the outdoor heritage fund.