With Minnesota’s pheasant hunting opener around the corner we wanted to celebrate some of the ways lottery proceeds are supporting Minnesota’s wildlife through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund:

ENRTF dollars provided a consistent form of funding for the Habitat Conservation Partnership, which was one of the most successful natural resources efforts in Minnesota. Throughout the decade-long project, more than 179,000 acres throughout greater Minnesota were restored, enhanced and preserved to sustain fish, wildlife and native plant communities for all generations.

Minnesota wildlife have also benefited from the Metro Conservation Corridors Partnership, which the ENRTF has supported since 2003. More than 20,000 acres and 37 miles of shoreline have been impacted, including more than 11,000 acres which were permanently protected through purchase or conservation easement and more than 9,000 acres were restored and enhanced to benefit Minnesota’s wildlife.

From 2011 – 2017, ENRTF grants allowed the DNR to assess the impact that the 2010 BP Oil Spill had on Minnesota’s loons and pelicans. This research was all done scientifically for the first time and helped make the connection between Minnesota loons and pelicans and the BP oil spill possible. The data collected is being used for a lawsuit settlement between BP Oil and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and could lead to a $40 million payout for loon conservation in Minnesota.

Since 1990, the Minnesota Lottery has raised more than $1.2 billion to protect, restore and enhance our natural resources — and with every ticket sold, that number continues to grow every day. We are proud that lottery proceeds have collectively touched every one of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Thank you for helping deliver on our mission for a better Minnesota.

And to all the hunters out there, we hope you have a safe (and lucky) season! The Minnesota Lottery is a proud sponsor of the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener again this year, which will be held in Austin, Minn.