Investing in Minnesota’s Outdoor Resources

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Minnesota DNR needs your help to establish a new approach to funding conservation and outdoor recreation. Please visit the "Developing Solutions" section below to share your ideas for supporting conservation and outdoor recreation opportunities for generations to come.

Video: Commissioner Sarah Strommen invites Minnesotans to join the DNR in a new project to identify a future funding framework for conservation and outdoor recreation in the state.

Minnesota’s current natural resources funding system can’t sustainably support continued conservation, natural resource management, and outdoor recreation opportunities. For example, user fees cannot reasonably keep pace with inflation while also ensuring we can appropriately steward Minnesota’s natural resources and provide open and affordable access to the outdoors for all people. While Minnesotans have demonstrated support for the environment and outdoors through the constitutionally-dedicated Environmental Trust Fund and Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, these funds are not available to support key aspects of natural resource management.

Help us move towards a future where:

  • Future generations benefit from sustained and improved outdoor recreation experiences and conservation of natural resources
    • Robust, diverse, and high-quality outdoor resources offering all Minnesotans nature-based recreation opportunities
    • Ample conservation of high-quality lands and waters providing all Minnesotans the benefits of high-functioning ecosystems
    • Conservation and outdoor recreation decisions based on community values and informed by science and proven best management practices
  • Minnesotans work together to support both diverse outdoor recreation opportunities and conservation of our state’s natural features
    • The relationship between conservation and recreation uses and spaces is fully understood and accounted for in decision making
    • DNR and other Minnesota conservation and outdoor recreation organizations work together effectively, with the complexities of interconnected decision making well understood
    • Resources are managed in a manner that fosters innovation and adaptation to changing ecological, social, and technological conditions
  • Conservation and outdoor recreation opportunities equitably meet the needs of all Minnesotans
    • All Minnesotans can access conservation and outdoor recreation services and resources equitably, and management of resources adapts to meet Minnesotans’ needs as they change over time
    • Support for conservation and outdoor recreation is broad-based with shared stewardship across users and uses
    • Minnesotans know how funding for conservation and outdoor recreation is invested and how their communities benefit
  • Conservation and outdoor recreation align with and are integrated into Minnesota state priorities of strong educational systems, equitable access to health resources, thriving economy, and reliable infrastructure.
    • Conservation and outdoor recreation are integrated with, supportive, and supported by other related state priorities
    • Conservation and outdoor recreation are recognized by all as “need to have”, rather than “nice to have”, in funding and policy decision making.
    • To help identify alignment with other priorities, solutions for management and funding issues are developed by participants with a variety of experiences and perspectives and with a broad definition of nature and nature experiences


We need your help identifying funding solutions to achieve the future vision. In this future:

  • Minnesotans share in the “business case” and the “social case” for conservation and outdoor recreation investment, understanding what we gain or lose through investment choices, and apply this perspective in decision making
  • DNR and partners have sufficient funding to address natural resource issues, particularly the critical, emergent issues that will most impact Minnesota in coming years
  • Funding is predictable, stable, and flexible enough to meet its intended purposes for conservation and outdoor recreation management


We are aiming to have identified actionable solutions by second half of 2022.

Subscribe to stay up to date and to get alerts when there are new opportunities to add your voice to the conversation.

You can also check out what others are saying about the project, including the StarTribune, KEYC-TV, and Forum newspapers.

Minnesota DNR needs your help to establish a new approach to funding conservation and outdoor recreation. Please visit the "Developing Solutions" section below to share your ideas for supporting conservation and outdoor recreation opportunities for generations to come.

Video: Commissioner Sarah Strommen invites Minnesotans to join the DNR in a new project to identify a future funding framework for conservation and outdoor recreation in the state.

Minnesota’s current natural resources funding system can’t sustainably support continued conservation, natural resource management, and outdoor recreation opportunities. For example, user fees cannot reasonably keep pace with inflation while also ensuring we can appropriately steward Minnesota’s natural resources and provide open and affordable access to the outdoors for all people. While Minnesotans have demonstrated support for the environment and outdoors through the constitutionally-dedicated Environmental Trust Fund and Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, these funds are not available to support key aspects of natural resource management.

Help us move towards a future where:

  • Future generations benefit from sustained and improved outdoor recreation experiences and conservation of natural resources
    • Robust, diverse, and high-quality outdoor resources offering all Minnesotans nature-based recreation opportunities
    • Ample conservation of high-quality lands and waters providing all Minnesotans the benefits of high-functioning ecosystems
    • Conservation and outdoor recreation decisions based on community values and informed by science and proven best management practices
  • Minnesotans work together to support both diverse outdoor recreation opportunities and conservation of our state’s natural features
    • The relationship between conservation and recreation uses and spaces is fully understood and accounted for in decision making
    • DNR and other Minnesota conservation and outdoor recreation organizations work together effectively, with the complexities of interconnected decision making well understood
    • Resources are managed in a manner that fosters innovation and adaptation to changing ecological, social, and technological conditions
  • Conservation and outdoor recreation opportunities equitably meet the needs of all Minnesotans
    • All Minnesotans can access conservation and outdoor recreation services and resources equitably, and management of resources adapts to meet Minnesotans’ needs as they change over time
    • Support for conservation and outdoor recreation is broad-based with shared stewardship across users and uses
    • Minnesotans know how funding for conservation and outdoor recreation is invested and how their communities benefit
  • Conservation and outdoor recreation align with and are integrated into Minnesota state priorities of strong educational systems, equitable access to health resources, thriving economy, and reliable infrastructure.
    • Conservation and outdoor recreation are integrated with, supportive, and supported by other related state priorities
    • Conservation and outdoor recreation are recognized by all as “need to have”, rather than “nice to have”, in funding and policy decision making.
    • To help identify alignment with other priorities, solutions for management and funding issues are developed by participants with a variety of experiences and perspectives and with a broad definition of nature and nature experiences


We need your help identifying funding solutions to achieve the future vision. In this future:

  • Minnesotans share in the “business case” and the “social case” for conservation and outdoor recreation investment, understanding what we gain or lose through investment choices, and apply this perspective in decision making
  • DNR and partners have sufficient funding to address natural resource issues, particularly the critical, emergent issues that will most impact Minnesota in coming years
  • Funding is predictable, stable, and flexible enough to meet its intended purposes for conservation and outdoor recreation management


We are aiming to have identified actionable solutions by second half of 2022.

Subscribe to stay up to date and to get alerts when there are new opportunities to add your voice to the conversation.

You can also check out what others are saying about the project, including the StarTribune, KEYC-TV, and Forum newspapers.

Page last updated: 10 May 2022, 01:47 PM