Poster Presentation C Thursday, 5:00 6:00 pm C Edmund Fitzgerald Exhibit Hall

Potential Conservation Corridors and Habitat Patches in the Blue Earth River Watershed

Pete Knutson
Minnesota Department of Natural Resouces
Region IV Headquarters
261 Highway 15 South
New Ulm, MN  56073

Cathi Fouchi
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
1230 South Victory Drive
Mankato, MN  56001

This poster displays areas of potential conservation corridors and habitat patches identified by the Blue Earth River Team (BERT) in South Central Minnesota. This multiagency team's mission is to work efficiently within and across DNR management divisions and in conjunction with land and water management interests in the Blue Earth River Watershed to develop and implement strategies that improve and maintain ecologically healthy landscapes and sustainable communities. BERT is recognizing the potential of GIS as a tool to develop and implement various strategies. 

During the spring of 2001, a spatial model was developed to delineate potential areas based on specific characteristics defined by BERT members. A few of the characteristics included sensitivity to groundwater contamination, different landscape structure variables (using FRAGSTATS), and current protected land boundaries. Geographic themes were derived from each characteristic, ranked on a standard measurement scale, and included in an arithmetic overlay process.

The project results are being used to guide long term strategic planning and acquisition prioritization, in addition to, providing a model for local governments and other landscape/watershed teams to use.

Software used: Arc/Info, Grid, ArcView, and Spatial Analyst