Habitat and Population Evaluation Team
Midwest Region


Wildlife Priority Areas Defined by 14-digit Hydrologic Units

In keeping with the HAPET’s goal of providing strategic conservation decision tools to our habitat management partners, the HAPET responded when the Natural Resource Conservation Service State Technical Committee requested model-based priority areas (Wildlife Zones) for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sign-ups under the 2002 Farm Bill.

The priority areas proposed by the HAPET were based on the distribution of grasslands, settling density of waterfowl pairs, and availability of pheasant wintering habitat. These variables were calculated to maximize the cumulative benefits of programs such as CRP, continuous CRP, and Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), but are likewise applicable to other grassland conservation programs.

Priority areas are based on USGS 14-digit hydrologic units (HUCs). Each HUC in a priority area has a recommended set of conservation practices including CP2, CP4d, CP23, and CP25-TG. Only HUCs in the historic Prairie-Hardwood Transition Zone and a narrow corridor along the lower Minnesota River were recommended for CP3a.


For additional information about wildlife priority zones contact:

Dan Hertel
Non-game Wildlife Biologist
Habitat and Population Evaluation Team


Cry of the Marsh
Strategic Habitat Conservation
Last updated: December 9, 2009