Technical Evaluation Panel

MN DNR

Quick Facts

Recipient: 
MN DNR
Source: 
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Recipient Type: 
State Government
Status: 
In Progress
Activity Type: 
Technical Assistance

The purpose of this program is to coordinate the restoration evaluation panel (REP) responsible for annually evaluating a sample of habitat restoration projects completed with Outdoor Heritage Funding and to provide a report on REP to the legislature and the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

State law (M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6) directs restoration evaluations to be conducted on habitat restoration projects completed with funds from the Outdoor Heritage Fund (M.S. 97A.056). The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) are responsible for convening a Restoration Evaluation Panel containing at least five technical experts who will evaluate a sample of up to 10 habitat restoration projects annually. The Panel will evaluate the restorations relative to the law, current science, stated goals and standards in the restoration plans, and applicable guidelines. Annual reports will be provided to the legislature and governing councils on the findings of the panel, determining whether restorations are meeting planned goals, identifying problems with implementation of restorations and, if necessary, providing recommendations on improving restorations. The law provides for the use of up to one-tenth of one percent of forecasted receipts from the fund to support this work.

About the Issue

Passage of the Legacy Amendment reinforces the state’s continuing efforts to conserve the diversity of lands, waters, and fish and wildlife that provide the foundation for Minnesota’s high quality of life and also brings strong expectations for a greater level of transparency and accountability in the use of these public funds. The restoration evaluation program intends to increase accountability and transparency in the use of Legacy Funds by formalizing and elevating the process of assessing project performance and reporting findings to stakeholders. Site assessment teams will use project appropriate assessment measures to ensure established science based best practices are being applied on the ground in selected Legacy Fund restoration projects. This level of assessment goes beyond standard reporting requirements and exceeds operational capacity of most programs. This program also increases the communication of specific project outcomes and lessons learned from restoration implementation. Reports will focus on improving future restorations by providing feedback to practitioners regarding challenging situations and viable solutions. Creation of this continuous learning environment provides an important tool for improving restoration practice throughout the state.

Project Details

Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2011
End Date: 
June 2014

Project Details by Fiscal Year

Fiscal Year(s): 
2012
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
ML 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 6(c )
Appropriation Language 

$42,000 the first year to the commissioner of natural resources for a technical assistance panel to conduct up to ten restoration audits, under Minnesota Statutes, sections 97A.056, subdivision 10.

Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$42,000
Other Funds Leveraged: 
$0
Direct expenses: 
$42,000
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.26
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 

Six site assessments of Outdoor Heritage Fund restoration projects were conducted in the summer of 2012. Three projects were reviewed by the evaluation panel.

Description of Funds: 
n/a

Project Manager

Wade
Johnson
DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul
MN
55155
651-259-5075