bumblebee on flowering plant

Plant diversity, pollinators and other wildlife species provide essential roles with food systems, sustaining ecological systems and meeting goals for soil and water conservation. This page summarizes BWSR’s Living Landscapes Initiative and lists key programs and resources that address these topics.      

BWSR Living Landscapes Initiative


The decline of wildlife populations, including beneficial insects (pollinators, butterflies, dragonflies, etc.), birds, amphibians and other species, is a significant concern for conservation professionals and residents of Minnesota. These species provide a foundation for food production, food webs and native ecosystems. Their loss results from a variety of factors including habitat loss, invasive species, pesticides, climate change, and diseases. The BWSR Living Landscapes Initiative is focused on effectively supporting wildlife and native plant populations across all types of landscapes.


  • Increase awareness about declining wildlife and plant populations including causes and solutions
  • Incorporate effective habitat across all types of landscapes as part of BWSR conservation programs
  • Engage diverse communities across Minnesota to collaborate on conservation efforts
  • Focus on the biological health of restored and natural plant communities to maximize landscape benefits
  • Support sustainable food systems.
  • Support conservation partners by providing funding, outreach and technical resources

Scope and Approach

This initiative is focused on working with conservation partners to create a network of strategic habitat across Minnesota landscapes to benefit a wide range of plant and animal species.  A large number of partners are involved in conservation efforts in Minnesota and play a role in establishing and maintaining habitat including: Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Watershed Districts, Minnesota Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Transportation, NRCS, University of Minnesota, tribal nations, cities, counties, environmental non-profit organizations and many other conservation, outreach and education partners.

Diagram showing different types of BWSR programs that are part of the Living Landscape Initiative
A variety of habitat programs play a key role in creating important connections across landscapes that are essential for wildlife species. BWSR programs represented in the graphic above complement conservation landscapes managed by other state agencies, federal agencies and conservation partners such as the Nature Conservancy, Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.

Related BWSR Programs

Lawns to Legumes Program (residential landscape focused pollinator program)

Habitat Friendly Solar Program (recognizes habitat as part of grounded-mounted solar projects)

Habitat Enhancement Landscape Pilot (HELP) (strategic habitat on conservation lands and natural areas for pollinators and a wide range of beneficial insects)

Conservation Easements  (restored prairie, wetland, forest and shoreline easements)

Clean Water Fund Projects (habitat is a secondary benefit of water quality projects)

Wetland Mitigation/Banking  (high quality restored wetlands and buffers)

Forest Stewardship Planning

Cooperative Weed Management Area Program (partnerships to share resources and manage invasive species across ownership boundaries)


For more information contact: Dan Shaw at Dan.Shaw@state.mn.us.

Living Landscapes Initiative Resources

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Dan Shaw
Senior Ecologist/Vegetation Specialist