The Snake River Watershed, located in east-central Minnesota, supports a diverse range of aquatic species including fish and freshwater mussels, as well as a number of terrestrial threatened and endangered species (TNC 2009). The watershed is home to several outstanding resources such as the Mille Lacs Wildlife Management Area, the Solana State Forest, and the Rum River State Forest, which provide critical habitat for many species and support recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. While the watershed supports a diverse species community and habitats, the health of the watershed is threatened by decreased water quality, invasive species, forest fragmentation, and increased flooding events. To protect the watershed's biodiversity and ecosystem services, state agencies, local governments, conservation groups, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), and stakeholders have been working to assess water quality, understand species distribution, and implement best management practices (BMP). Building upon these efforts, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Snake River Watershed Management Board (SRWMB), SWCDs, and other stakeholders are working collaboratively to develop a restoration and protection plan for the watershed, termed the Snake River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report (MPCA 2010a).
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency