Spirit Lake North Watershed Project

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The Spirit Lake North Watershed Project will permanently protect approximately 195.50-acres within the Iowa Great Lakes Watershed in Jackson County, MN. Land protected will become a Waterfowl Production Area owned and managed by the USFWS and open to public recreation. Wetland (estimated 80-acres) and grassland restoration (110-acres) will be conducted providing an estimated 85% reduction in phosphorus and nitrogen annually and a reduction of 30 tons of sediment per 2” rainfall to Big Spirit Lake.

Pheasant Forever Minnesota (PF) has purchased the parcel using their internal land loan fund and additional partner funding. They (PF) are now working with project partners to pay quickly down the land loan and minimize any accrued interest. SLPA, as a partner in this acquisition, has agreed to fund raise for the project based on the huge water quality benefits it provides to Big Spirit Lake thru the eventual shutting down of the three wells that have drained the cropland for decades.

This project provides an exemplary example demonstrating how clean water and wildlife habitat interests can work together with willing sellers and private landowners to improve our Quality of Water and our Quality of Life in the Iowa Great Lakes region.

  • The original wetland area will be reclaimed and water will be slowed and allowed to drop its contaminants prior to entering the Iowa Great Lakes system.
  • Additional benefits of this acquisition include: the restoration of a large habitat complex critical to resident and migrant wildlife species; a premier public recreation/education area that will be used by citizens from many states; and demonstration of the dramatic effects that can be realized when new and diverse groups of partners address common conservation needs without regards to political boundaries.
  • Wetland (estimated 80-acres) and grassland restoration (110-acres) will be conducted providing an estimated 85% reduction in phosphorus and nitrogen annually and a reduction of 30 tons of sediment per 2” rainfall to Big Spirit Lake.
  • New wetland and grassland habitats for wildlife, reduced soil erosion, improved water quality, reduced runoff, reduced flooding, and sequestration of carbon.
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Support for the project

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