Reinvest in Minnesota

Background

In 1986, the Reinvest in Minnesota Resources Act was enacted to restore certain marginal and environmental sensitive agricultural land to protect soil and water quality and support fish and wildlife habitat. The program was a first of it’s kind in the country. Conservation practices are established by planting native vegetation, and restoring wetlands. RIM is a critical component of the state’s efforts to improve water quality by reducing soil erosion, and phosphorus and nitrogen loading. It’s designed to compensate landowners for granting conservation easements while retaining private ownership of their land. To date, the Reinvest in Minnesota program has spent over $250 million dollars resulting in 6,000 conservation easements across 250,000 acres. The Board of Water and Soil Resources provides state-level program coordination and administration while implementation at the local level is undertaken by Soil & Water Conservation Districts.

In Blue Earth County

About 8,000 acres of Blue Earth County land is currently protected by a RIM Easement. Most of these easements are privately owned and maintained by landowners from all backgrounds. Many options are available to maintain and enhance these easements. The SWCD conducts inspections of these easements for the first 5 years and every third year after that. Landowners receive confirmation of this review usually late summer into fall.

RIM Wetlands

Overview

Restoring the most productive wetland habitat in Minnesota will protect and restore previously drained wetlands and adjacent native grasslands on easements across the State. BWSR has received funding through the Outdoor Heritage Fund (from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment) and Clean Water Funds for RIM Wetland easements. The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will utilize the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) easement program in partnership with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) to target, protect and restore high priority habitat complexes.

Benefits

  • Protect, enhance, or restore existing wetland/upland complexes, or convert agricultural lands to new wetland/upland habitat complexes
  • Advance the outcome of a healthy and plentiful supply of habitat for fish, game, and wildlife
  • Benefit society by storing floodwaters, filtering pollutants, serving as a carbon sink, and providing recreation sites for boating and fishing
  • Provide a home to at least one third of all threatened and endangered species

Enrollment Focus and Sign-up Schedule

Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan prairie core areas, corridors and agricultural matrix. Open enrollment begins 9/30/2022. Funding decisions will be made quarterly and the first batching period deadline is November 30th, 2022.