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Wetland Plant Communities are Found in All Parts of Minnesota

Most wetland plant communities consist of a highly diverse mix of grasses, sedges, forbs (broadleaf plants), ferns, shrubs and trees. By definition these plants must be tolerant of saturated, wet soils, often but not always organic in nature. There must always be sufficient water and insufficient drainage.

Wetlands are extremely valuable for their water filtering and storage attributes and for creating significant wildlife habitat for songbirds, insects, amphibians and waterfowl. Because of their diverse natural character they are often esthetically beautiful landscapes.

Existing wetlands can be improved through management techniques such as fire and Integrated Plant Management (IPM). And they may be created from scratch as long as the soil and moisture conditions are conducive.

For more than a century, developers and landowners have been responsible for draining millions of acres of wetlands throughout the upper Midwest.

It has taken way too long to appreciate the all-important roles wetlands play as nature’s water filter and water storage systems. Finally, in recent years, these practical values are being recognized to the extent that developers or farmers usually must mitigate any loss of wetlands that their activities cause.

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