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Nature conservation--Minnesota


Minnesota has a rich natural resource base that can be preserved only by maintaining and expanding private and public conservation programs that contribute toward the protection of forests, soils, waters, native plants, wildlife, natural communities, and endangered species. Although efforts to protect Minnesota's natural heritage have been a model for the Midwest, increasing pressure to plow up prairie, drain wetlands, consume old growth forest resources, and urbanize the landscape continue to erode an ever decreasing base of natural habitat. Significant alteration of our state's presettlement biological communities has occurred and, in spite of conservation laws and rules adopted over the last 50 years, alteration and destruction continue at an alarming rate. We cannot rest on our laurels, nor can we feel our efforts are sufficient simply because we are doing a better job protecting our natural heritage than are neighboring states. Public and private agencies must inventory their existing land base and private lands to identify existing remnants of natural communities and seek appropriate legal protection for these areas. Efforts to restore presettlement natural communities need to be greatly accelerated. Protection of larger landscapes will be required to insure perpetuation of our diverse plant and wildlife populations and communities. Local government is in a unique position to facilitate conservation and preservation of our most precious resources and improve water quality, while allowing for appropriate economic development. Conservationists are acting locally to bring the public's concern with preservation of our natural heritage to the attention of decision-making bodies at the county and township level. The citizens of Minnesota have an opportunity to seek appropriate actions to preserve natural ecosystems by the year 2000 and recommit to Minnesota's state environmental policy adopted by the legislature in 1973.

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