U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Representative Collin Peterson today announced $7 million in resources to help increase wildlife habitat for waterfowl in Red River Valley. The funding, which comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of the Water Bank Program, will also help improve flood prevention practices.
"Increasing wildlife habitat will help ensure that duck hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy the Red River Valley's natural resources for years to come," Klobuchar said. "This support will not only help create new habitats for more than 300 species, it will also encourage better flood prevention practices."
"It's important that we stay vigilant and do everything we can to prevent flood damage in the Red River Valley in the coming decades," said Sen. Franken. "This funding will improve flood prevention efforts and protect wildlife habitats so future generations will be able to enjoy the wildlife that makes the valley such a great place to live."
"The availability of Water Bank for this fiscal year will provide an additional option for landowners and water managers to help address flooding potential while also addressing water quality and creating wildlife habitat," Peterson said.
The USDA's Water Bank Program provides financial assistance to qualified landowners who agree to keep water on their frequently flooded land which helps conserve and protect wetlands that are critical habitats for migratory wildlife such as waterfowl.
Each year nearly 2 million people fish in Minnesota's lakes and streams and close to 700,000 hunt Minnesota's fields and forests which generate approximately $3.6 billion for Minnesota's thriving "outdoor economy."
Klobuchar, Franken, and Peterson have worked with their colleagues across the Red River Valley to tackle the issue of flooding. Last September, they joined with North Dakota's Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Representative Rick Berg to urge the President to secure permanent flood protection for the Red River Valley.