Stories in Minnesota

Advocate: Use Your Outside Voice!

Follow this guide to learn about conservation issues and speak up for nature with your state lawmakers.

A person in a canoe on a foggy morning.
Canoe The Mississippi River headwaters area provides opportunities for outdoor recreation as well as clean drinking water for millions. © Richard Hamilton Smith

In Minnesota, where we've been able to enjoy gifts like abundant freshwater, rich biodiversity and productive working lands, we also have a tremendous responsibility. Minnesotans have a responsibility to respect and care for the nature that sustains us so that it may sustain future generations as well. That’s why we’re using our outside voices to speak up for nature—and we invite you to join us!

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© Shravan K. Acharya/Pexels

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How We Use Policy to Advance Conservation

The Nature Conservancy advances policy solutions that work for people and nature in Minnesota. As with our conservation work, our policy recommendations are directly informed by the best science available. Science drives not only how we plan and implement conservation, but also informs our policy positions and our recommendations for how to target conservation funding. We work collaboratively with people from all walks of life, with businesses and industries, and with governments from the local, state and national levels to advance conservation through policy.

We work across borders, aisles and sectors to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Our nonpartisan approach, commitment to science, and collaboration with local partners and colleagues around the state will help us realize a future in which nature and people thrive together. But we can’t achieve that future alone, we need your help!

Get to know our policy priorities in Minnesota, learn how you can use your voice to make a difference, and start speaking up for nature.

Minnesota Capitol dome.
MN Legislature The Minnesota State Capitol is located in St. Paul. © Ken Wolter, Shutterstock

Updates from the Capitol

MAY 24

Despite momentum heading into the final hours, the Minnesota regular legislative session ended at their deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night, May 22, with many major bills left unfinished. Aside from agreements on small bills, negotiators got hung up on big differences in many of the omnibus bills that were in conference committee. Legislators would need to go into special session to complete business, which only Gov. Tim Walz has the authority to call.

Lawmakers did manage to reach agreements on some items for nature, including agriculture and drought relief, with money for soil health assistance and replacing tree seedlings killed by last year’s drought. There was also an agreement to fund some projects recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota’s Resources (LCCMR), though the bill also included money from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) for programs that did not go through the LCCMR’s approval process. Earlier in the week, both houses passed a Legacy bill that contains $159 million from the Outdoor Heritage Fund to support on-the-ground conservation projects around the state.

Among the bills that did not pass before the end of the regular session were bills addressing the environment, climate and energy, and taxes. Legislators also failed to bring forward a bonding bill, despite an announcement last week that they planned to pass a bill investing $1.4 billion in capital projects. Finally, a bill to reauthorize the constitutional dedication of lottery funding to the ENRTF was not agreed to, putting the future of funding for nature at risk.

All eyes will be on the Capitol this week while we wait to see if a special session is called to finish the legislative work that’s yet to be completed.


MAY 17

Legislative activity is at a breakneck pace as May 23—the constitutionally directed adjournment date—quickly approaches. Conference committees have continued to meet to work on omnibus bills but have been unable to make much progress due to a lack of guidelines from legislative leaders. These guidelines, known as budget targets, dictate how much money (if any) each conference committee would be able to propose in their revised omnibus bill.

In terms of spending, the omnibus bills on any given topic remain very far apart: House bills include tens of millions in spending and Senate bills include far less in general funds. Without an agreement from leadership about what the legislature can spend, conference committees have only been able to compare similarities and differences between House and Senate packages. The legislature is not obligated to reach supplemental budget agreements this year, so compromises on certain bills remain very uncertain in the remaining days of this session.

In the final week of the session, keep an eye out for a few consequential items that will affect nature: a bonding bill agreement, potential progress on a bill to reauthorize constitutional protection of the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, and a bill appropriating Outdoor Heritage Fund dollars. It’s not too late to sign up for action alerts to make sure your voice is heard at the end of session.


MAY 10

We are just two weeks away from the Minnesota Legislature’s constitutionally directed adjournment date of May 23. So far, the House and Senate have passed and agreed upon bills related to pandemic relief and frontline worker pay, but agreements on other bills still remain uncertain.

After wrapping up hearings for their respective omnibus bills, bill discussions will shift from the House and Senate floors and into the conference committee process, where smaller groups of lawmakers are charged with reconciling differences between bills. A couple of conference committees will meet this week to review similarities and differences between the House and Senate packages.

The Senate Finance Committee advanced the Outdoor Heritage Fund bill to the floor, but unlike the House Legacy bill, the Senate’s Outdoor Heritage Fund appropriation is not linked to any other Legacy funds.

On the House floor, the debate on the tax omnibus bill included discussion about a proposal to fund soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) through the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Doing so would provide consistent and stable funding to these local government bodies, who work with private landowners on conservation efforts in communities around Minnesota. Take a moment to tell your legislators that locally led conservation is important to you.


MAY 3

Lengthy floor sessions continue to be the norm in the House and Senate as each body debates and amends their respective omnibus bills. Just before a tax deadline for businesses, House and Senate leadership reached an agreement on unemployment insurance and frontline worker pay, two issues that have been linked and negotiated in tandem since the start of session.

This agreement portends some successful negotiations headed into the final weeks of session, but the fate of most omnibus bills remains uncertain. The Legislature is technically not required to pass any supplemental budget bills or a bonding bill this session, which could reduce pressure to reach compromises.

The House passed their Legacy omnibus bill last week, which included $159 million from the Outdoor Heritage Fund for wildlife habitat conservation. The Senate’s bill to appropriate money from the Outdoor Heritage Fund is scheduled to be heard later this week.

A proposal to reauthorize the constitutional protection of the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF), which had been held up in the Senate in recent weeks, was advanced to another committee and one step closer to a floor vote. Over in the House, the ENRTF proposal has yet to make much headway—tell your legislators that you care about continued funding for nature.

In other news, there have not been any omnibus bonding bill plans released; meanwhile, the Senate Capital Investment Committee continues to hold hearings on proposed bonding investments. The House environment omnibus bill passed after a debate on the floor, during which legislator remarks specifically highlighted nature’s capacity as a climate solution.

Thanks for reading! Share our legislative updates with a friend and encourage them to speak up for nature too.

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Past Updates

April

  • April 27

    The Legislature returned from their spring break to begin a new phase of this year’s session, and so far, lawmakers have been spending more time in floor debates as finance committees continue referring omnibus bills to the floor. More lengthy floor sessions are expected this week as each body debates and amends their respective omnibus bills.

    The environment omnibus bill was the first the Senate debated on the floor last week, and it passed on a final vote of 37-29. Once the House passes their own version of the environment omnibus bill, the two versions will be sent to a conference committee to negotiate the differences between the bills.

    Capital Investment committees in both bodies met last week. In the House, committee members concluded hearings on prospective items they may include in an omnibus bonding bill. The Senate Capital Investment Committee met for the second time to hear presentations from state agencies about their asset preservation requests, including a presentation from the Dept. of Natural Resources on the condition of their buildings, roads, trails, public water accesses, campsites and more.

    Later this week, the Senate Rules and Administration Committee is scheduled to hear a bill to reauthorize the constitutional amendment that dedicates revenues from the state lottery to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, a consistent source of funding for investments in our lands and waters. The House has not yet scheduled a hearing on this bill—let your legislators know you want to preserve this important source of funding for nature.

    The Legacy omnibus bill is scheduled to be on the House floor this week, and we expect both bodies to hear their environment, climate and energy, and agriculture omnibus bills as well. Stay tuned—there’s only a month left in the session!

  • April 18

    Legislators are headed back to the Capitol after a weeklong break, marking a new phase of the 2022 legislative session. After passing a deadline before the break for bills to receive a committee hearing, committee chairs in the House and Senate have been compiling proposed legislation into omnibus bills.

    This week these bills are being approved by their respective finance committees and sent to the floor for a vote by the full House or Senate. Because the two versions of each omnibus bill will have significant differences, subsets of legislators will be appointed to meet in “conference committees” to reconcile the differences and find compromises. This will be a key time to ensure proposals that invest in nature and climate remain a top priority for legislators.

    But that’s all yet to come! With an expected adjournment date of May 23, there are still about five weeks for legislators to pass bills, negotiate agreements and send final versions to the Governor. Stay tuned for an exciting rest of the session!

  • April 11

    The end of last week was the second deadline for policy bills to have been heard in both the House and Senate to advance in standalone or omnibus bills. Senate committees have already released their supplemental budget omnibus bills and the House will follow this week. The Senate bills do not spend the budget surplus, as would the Governor’s proposal and House proposals that are being released this week.

    This Friday is the third and final legislative deadline, by which a finance committee must act favorably on finance bills for them to advance (including omnibus bills). Legislators will return to their districts through April 18 for the Passover and Easter holidays.

    The Senate Environment committee again advanced a proposal last week to reauthorize lottery proceeds to the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The bill was amended unanimously to direct the remaining proceeds from the lottery to a water improvement fund. The bill is awaiting a hearing in the counterpart House committee.

    As omnibus budget bills roll out, soil health is getting some attention. The Senate Agriculture committee released and advanced their omnibus bill, which includes the creation of a soil health grant program that will help farmers increase the adoption of soil health practices, though with a small investment of $50,000. The House Agriculture committee by comparison released their omnibus bill, which would spend $6.75 million on soil health.

    Large-scale investment in the replacement of lead drinking water pipes all over the state has continued to be a source of interest and discussion for members of the House and is expected to appear in several different bills as House committees release their spending bills this week.

    It’s a busy week ahead before legislators turn their attention back to their districts with the looming break.

  • April 5

    The end of last week was the second deadline for policy bills to have been heard in both the House and Senate to advance in standalone or omnibus bills. Senate committees have already released their supplemental budget omnibus bills and the House will follow this week. The Senate bills do not spend the budget surplus, as would the Governor’s proposal and House proposals that are being released this week.

    This Friday is the third and final legislative deadline, by which a finance committee must act favorably on finance bills for them to advance (including omnibus bills). Legislators will return to their districts through April 18 for the Passover and Easter holidays.

    The Senate Environment committee again advanced a proposal last week to reauthorize lottery proceeds to the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The bill was amended unanimously to direct the remaining proceeds from the lottery to a water improvement fund. The bill is awaiting a hearing in the counterpart House committee.

    As omnibus budget bills roll out, soil health is getting some attention. The Senate Agriculture committee released and advanced their omnibus bill, which includes the creation of a soil health grant program that will help farmers increase the adoption of soil health practices, though with a small investment of $50,000. The House Agriculture committee by comparison released their omnibus bill, which would spend $6.75 million on soil health.

    Large-scale investment in the replacement of lead drinking water pipes all over the state has continued to be a source of interest and discussion for members of the House and is expected to appear in several different bills as House committees release their spending bills this week.

    It’s a busy week ahead before legislators turn their attention back to their districts with the looming break.

March

  • March 31

    Policy bills had to clear one committee in either the House or Senate by the end of last week to advance further, so committees and hearings were jam-packed with bills that needed to be heard before the deadline. In the coming days and weeks, committees are putting together their omnibus bills, which are bills that include many proposals grouped by committee topic. This Friday is the second legislative deadline, meaning committees in the other body must act on bills that met the first deadline in their house of origin.

    A proposal to extend the dedication of lottery proceeds to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund was heard for the first time. The bill received bipartisan support and advanced to another Senate committee hearing this week, where it was once again advanced to a different committee. If passed, the bill will ask voters to reauthorize a constitutional amendment in a future election.

    The Environment committees in the Senate and House heard a variety of bills, including ones that would accelerate tree planting, invest in forest management and incentivize conservation of private lands.

    State lawmakers overseeing the capital investment process (commonly called bonding) heard presentations describing how climate change will impact the state’s credit ability to bond. Several proposals for bonding were heard in the House Capital Investment committee and laid over for possible inclusion in a later bill.

    There was also discussion in committees on a drought relief package for farmers, a soil health program, nuclear power and expanded solar energy production. This week is shaping up to be just as full!

  • March 22

    Last week, our staff testified to the House Environment committee on a bill to fund maintenance at Scientific and Natural Areas, which are designated preserves to protect sensitive habitats that are often home to rare species of plants, animals or geologic features. The Senate Agriculture committee also heard a soil health bill we have been developing with partners in agriculture, an important step forward to fund better management practices on Minnesota’s farmland.

    The House Property Tax Committee heard a bill to create Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) aid through the state Department of Revenue. Committee members showed bipartisan support for the bill and emphasized the need to provide stable, long-term funding for SWCDs and their conservation work.

    This Friday is the first legislative deadline, meaning that any bills containing policy changes must be acted upon in at least one committee in either the House or the Senate. Expect committee agendas to be full this week!

  • March 15

    It was an action-packed week at the Capitol with committees trying to hear bills before the first deadline on March 25, the date by which a policy bill must clear one committee in either the House or Senate. A few highlights below:

    Staff from The Nature Conservancy presented to the House Legacy committee on how the Outdoor Heritage Fund helps us preserve and restore prairies and other important habitat in Minnesota. The 2022 bill to appropriate funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund is scheduled to be heard by that committee on Wednesday. Proposals that provide relief from last year’s drought conditions saw significant movement in both the House and Senate this week. The House passed a bipartisan drought relief package addressing agriculture and forestry needs, and the Senate Ag committee heard a version that focuses on agriculture.

    Finally, the Senate Environment committee heard a bill to fund accelerated conservation planting, living snow fences (usually grasses and trees along road corridors), and emerald ash borer-killed tree replacement—all of which would ultimately support more tree planting across the state. The Nature Conservancy submitted a letter of support. As the deadline approaches, even more bills are expected to move. More to come next week!

  • March 8

    Last week the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget shared an updated forecast for the state budget, indicating the historic $7.7 billion surplus has ballooned to $9.2 billion, with some caveats acknowledging the impact global affairs could have on those figures going forward. This fiscal report card is the last that will inform legislators of how much funding is likely to be available and will shape legislative budget negotiations for the rest of session.

    The Outdoor Heritage Fund bill—one of Minnesota’s key sources of funding for nature—successfully passed out of the House Environment committee and was sent on to the House Legacy committee for consideration. There was also legislative progress made on water quality, with a bill being introduced in the House and Senate to fund water quality and storage, floodplain easements and grassland conservation programs.

    Drought relief for farmers got a great deal of attention, with the House Ways and Means Committee sending two bills to the House floor that would provide funding for farm relief and Department of Natural Resources drought relief. The Senate Ag committee heard a standalone drought relief bill on just the agriculture provisions, which was laid over for future consideration.

    If you’re ready to speak up for nature, reach out to your legislators about bills to support Minnesota’s forests!

  • March 1

    Minnesota state leaders announced on Monday that the state’s general fund budget surplus is forecasted to grow to $9.25 billion, up another $1.5 billion from the most recent announcement in December. The forecast informs legislators how much funding will likely be available for the coming year, and is used to shape budget negotiations in the legislative session. At a press conference, Gov. Tim Walz cautioned that the forecast could be affected by economic instability caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Even with some uncertainty around the total amount, it’s clear that the budget surplus will continue to be a centerpiece of the legislative session.

    Bills to appropriate money from the Outdoor Heritage Fund are making their way through the legislative process, with a Senate committee advancing the recommendations of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council last week and a House committee expected to do the same this week.

    Legislators are also considering different proposals to address flooding by funding water storage programs and expanding floodplain easements. These investments would leverage the power of nature to lessen the impacts of flooding and erosion and provide clean water. Keep an eye out for more to come this week!

February

  • February 22

    The release of new legislative district maps loomed large over legislative activity last week. These new maps, drawn by a panel of judges, carry huge implications for congressional and state elections in November. Many incumbent legislators have been "paired" together—meaning their home residence is now in the same district as a colleague—and must run against one another, relocate to a new district or retire. Expect more news to come about retirements and campaign announcements!

    A bill to increase funding for natural areas by restoring a dedicated percentage of the "lottery in lieu" tax to its historic levels was heard by the House Environment committee; watch our testimony in support of the bill. The House Climate and Energy committee also had an informational hearing on three bills associated with electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

    State agency leaders continued presentations to legislative committees to discuss the governor’s supplemental budget and bonding proposals. The Board of Water and Soil Resources presented to the House Capital Investment committee, including nearly $10 million for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. Over in the other chamber, the Senate Finance committee heard a presentation indicating the state can authorize a bonding bill up to $3.5 billion in 2022 without significant fiscal concerns.

  • February 14

    State agency leaders made the rounds in last week’s committee hearings to share more information about Gov. Walz’s bonding and supplemental budget proposals. One such proposal is a significant investment in soil health, which has yet to be introduced as a bill, but we’re interested in seeing a bill that will help farmers improve soil health on Minnesota’s croplands.

    Gov. Walz also proposed providing permanent and stable funding for Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) by putting local government aid for SWCDs into the annual state budget. This shift back to funding these local government bodies out of the general fund would help Minnesota get closer to adequately funding its clean water needs and support conservation efforts on the ground.

    The Senate Legacy committee will soon hear the 2022 Outdoor Heritage Fund appropriations bill, and we’re joining with conservation partners to let Senators know we support the over $155 million in habitat project recommendations from the citizen-legislator council that oversees the Fund. 

    In other news, the House Capital Investment committee heard presentations last week on the state impact of the federal infrastructure bill. A few highlights: $668 million will go to water infrastructure, $68 million will go to electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and another $568 million is intended to address climate change. With this influx of federal funding, the 2022 bonding bill will likely include matching dollars from the state needed to access these federal programs.  

    New legislative district maps drawn by the courts are expected on Tuesday, Feb. 15, and lawmakers are anxious to see how this might affect the boundaries of the districts they represent. Here’s to another busy week ahead! 

  • February 7

    Minnesota lawmakers convened on Jan. 31 for what is sure to be a dense legislative session. As work begins on bonding bills (as is typical for an even-numbered year), many aspects of the session are far from typical. Minnesota has a projected $7.7 billion general fund surplus, an influx of federal funds, the ongoing COVID pandemic, a redistricting process to update legislative boundaries, and an election year where the Governor and all 201 state House and Senate seats will be up for election.

    We’re optimistic that this could be a year of bold action for nature. Before session began, Gov. Walz released his budget and bonding proposals, which included several top-priority measures for nature and climate, and the House DFL Climate Action Caucus released a budget package to address climate change.

    The Walz Administration released a draft of their Minnesota Climate Action Framework. It's a good step forward that proposes a wide array of natural climate solutions and nature-based adaptation strategies, but there’s more work to be done before the plan is finalized. Check out our statement on the need to set specific, ambitious benchmarks to help Minnesota tackle climate change.

    Committee hearings are underway and have primarily featured presentations from state agencies making the case for the Governor’s budget requests. Stay tuned for regular updates from the Capitol!

January

  • January 26

    State legislators reconvene for the 2022 legislative session on Monday, Jan. 31, where they will work to pass a capital investment package and determine how to appropriate the state’s historic budget surplus. This year offers a great opportunity to make transformational investments in nature, and we recommend a few ways legislators can support nature this session:

    • Preserve Minnesota’s forests by expanding tree planting, increasing tree seedling production, improving forest management and protecting critical natural habitat.
    • Invest in rivers and lakes to ensure access to clean drinking water and recreational opportunities while protecting important wildlife habitat.
    • Provide communities around the state with resources to handle increased stormwater and more frequent flooding caused by climate change.
    • Leverage state budget surplus dollars and capital investment funding to make strides in improving soil health on our natural and working lands, benefitting Minnesota’s farmers, our water and climate.
    • Tackle climate change and make our communities more resilient by expanding natural climate solutions and nature-based adaptation strategies.

    Be prepared to use your outside voice! Sign up today to receive action alerts so you can speak up for nature.

Our Top Priorities For Nature

  • SCA_Icon_LandWater

    Protect Land & Water

    We’re facing dual threats from the climate crisis and extreme loss of biodiversity, and we don’t stand a chance without clean water and healthy land.

  • SCA_Icon_Climate

    Tackle Climate Change

    Climate change isn’t a distant threat—it is happening now. The past decade has been hotter than any other time in recorded history.

  • SCA_Icon_FoodWater

    Provide Food & Water Sustainably

    Food demand is expected to increase by more than 50% in the next 30 years. We can meet the challenge by increasing yields while working with farmers to improve soil health.

Protect Healthy Lands & Waters

The Nature Conservancy is helping to protect dedicated state investments in natural resources and we're working to increase state investments in natural resources through other funding sources.

TNC has long been in the business of protecting important natural areas, and this work has never been more vital. As Minnesota's climate changes, these places will become even more critical as wildlife come to increasingly rely on these natural highways and neighborhoods as they move away from climate threats. These places are also critically important because of the immense amounts of carbon that they can capture and store through natural regeneration.

Learn About Protection

Tackle Climate Change

Nature is our first line of defense against many climate impacts. That’s why we are working to create systems that store more carbon through natural processes and improve people’s lives in the process. We’re working to incentivize public and private landowners to use practices that store more carbon, like planting trees, improving soil health on agricultural lands, and protecting and restoring our grasslands, wetlands and peatlands.

We are also encouraging the state to enable greater resiliency through nature-based adaptation. These are practices that will prepare natural landscapes for climate change, as well as buffer communities from the worst floods, droughts and other climate impacts.

More on Climate Change in MN

  • How is climate change affecting Minnesota?

    Climate change is already having an enormous impact on our waters, lands, wildlife and people. It's showing up in the form of droughts and dying trees, extreme weather and flooding events, and the compounded effects of both in far too many Minnesota waterways. Read more about climate change in Minnesota.

  • What is nature's role in tackling climate change?

    Nature can provide up to a third of the solution to global climate change. It's inexpensive, scalable and available to us now. But perhaps most importantly, it's an essential part of our climate response. We will not be able to meet global climate targets without nature, which is why we need to start investing in nature-based solutions now. Learn more about nature-based solutions by watching this video.

  • What are nature-based solutions?

    Nature-based solutions are conservation, restoration and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage, avoid greenhouse gas emissions or help nature and people adapt to climate change. Combined with clean energy and other decarbonization efforts, nature-based solutions offer some of our best options to respond to climate change.

  • Why focus on nature as a climate solution?

    In order to effectively tackle climate change in Minnesota, we need an all-of-the-above strategy. Eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels and moving toward renewable energy sources is an essential step. It’s also not enough on its own. We need to draw down existing carbon in the atmosphere to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and nature can help us get there. Through photosynthesis, actions as simple as planting more trees can help us reduce carbon in the atmosphere and start taking climate action now.

Advance Soil Health Practices

Farming is a proud Minnesota tradition, and it’s important that we protect our farmland and retain our leadership within the industry. When we make investments in our ag economy, it is critical that we maximize benefits to society like protecting our air, water and soil, as well as our communities and the health of the people who live here

We work with state government agencies to develop innovative projects that will improve impaired waters and prevent further degradation, as well as make sure farmers have the resources they need to implement solutions.

Increased soil health improves productivity, water quality, biodiversity, carbon storage and public health outcomes, but many farmers experience financial and technical barriers to implementing these practices. We need lawmakers' help to drive incentives that will improve soil health on agricultural lands and support Minnesota farmers who are doing right by nature.

Dig Into Regenerative Ag

  • What is the current footprint of the agriculture industry?

    More than half of Minnesota's lands are currently in agricultural production, and most of them don't employ practices that regenerate the health of the soil. That means an outsized risk of erosion and runoff to Minnesota's waters, as well as greenhouse gas emissions due to carbon released from our soils. But this also presents an opportunity to leverage agricultural landscapes to work better with nature's systems. Learn more about sustainable agriculture in Minnesota.

  • What are soil health practices?

    Practices that sequester carbon, increase organic matter and ultimately improve the biological, physical and chemical function of the soil are generally referred to as soil health practices. These include cover crops, reduced tillage, diversified crop rotation, improved nutrient management and edge-of-field strategies that help farms more efficiently hold water and carbon dioxide.

  • How can we better support farmers and rural communities?

    Agencies like the Board of Water and Soil Resources, National Resources Conservation Service, local soil and water conservation districts and partner efforts like All Acres for Our Water all support farmers and ranchers who want to make their operations more sustainable. The emergence of carbon markets and other ecosystem service markets can also help farmers by compensating them for their investments in nature. But in order for these strategies to be scalable, we must ensure adequate and stable funding for these important programs.

  • How does agriculture intersect with climate change?

    Food production has altered our planet more than any other human activity. It accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions and 70 percent of all freshwater usage; it is perhaps the single greatest cause of biodiversity loss. But it also provides livelihoods for more than a third of the world’s population. A regenerative food system takes us beyond mere sustainability toward positive growth that benefits our planet and the billions of farmers, fishers, ranchers and others who work to provide our food—without sacrificing the health and dignity of rural people and communities of color. Learn more about regenerative agriculture by watching this video.

With great privilege comes great responsibility. In order to preserve our lands, waters and our ways of life in Minnesota, we must be willing to speak up for nature. And we want to make it easy for you to speak up! Sign up for alerts below so you never miss a thing.