NRRI > Wetland Banking Fens Research Facility
Last Update Mon Sep 16 13:18:00 CDT 2013
To restore most of the effectively drained Fens Research Facility (Fens) to a variety of wetland types so new wetland credits can be deposited into a state wetland bank for future withdrawal as wetland mitigation credits.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) approved Wetland Bank I (established in 2002), and the Corps and NRRI subsequently signed a Mitigation Banking Instrument (MBI) for perpetual care of the Bank Site. An MBI is in the final stages of review for Wetland Banks II and III (established in 2005). The UM Office of General Counsel (OGC) and Real Estate Office (REO), together with NRRI, are doing the review. In spring and early summer 2011, intensive vegetation and water table monitoring were done on Wetland Banks IV and V (established in 2009). In May 2012, BWSR gave approval for the deposit of 10 acres of NWC for Bank IV. NRRI continues to meet all agreement requirements for these banks, including control of invasive species. Wetland Bank IV and Wetland Bank V (both established in 2009) are progressing well as functioning restored peatlands in 2013. Routine maintenance was done on the facility and equipment as the field season began.
For about 100 years, the Fens has been used for agriculture, horticulture, fuel peat production, and peatland research. The peat soils have been intensively drained. With recent demand for wetland mitigation credits, the Fens became a candidate for peatland restoration. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) approached NRRI about establishing numerous wetland banks at the Fens. After lengthy review, five banks are in the process of being established. A variety of wetland types are being established. New wetland credits (NWC) are being deposited into BWSR wetland banks. NWC are used for wetland replacement mitigation following loss of wetlands as a result of road construction in Northeast Minnesota.
In 2002 and 2005, the University of Minnesota (UM) entered into agreements with BWSR and Mn/DOT to restore 333.2 acres of drained peatlands for NWC at the Fens. Under the 2002 and 2005 agreements, the land was cleared, vegetation killed, and the soil rototilled. Subsequently, the ditches were filled, the land leveled and donor material (plant fragments) from nearby bogs was gathered and spread at the Fens. Water wells and vegetation plots were monitored and herbicide was sprayed on invasive species in August and September of each year since bank establishment. In 2008, UM entered into another agreement with BWSR to restore 145.4 acres of drained peatlands for NWC at the Fens. Construction (2009) and establishment of monitoring sites followed the same process as that for the 2002 and 2005 agreements.
Start Date 05/01/2001
End Date 09/30/2013
Steven Hauck PI