MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With Minnesota’s moose population on the decline, conservation groups have teamed up with government agencies in hopes of helping the animals hang on by enhancing the habitat that’s critical to their survival.

Northeastern Minnesota’s moose population is down to about 3,450, about 60 percent lower than 2006. Aided by nearly $3 million in state money, the Minnesota Moose Habitat Collaborative is using prescribed burns, selective logging, brush-cutting and planting about 2.5 million trees, to provide better food and cover across 8,500 acres of Minnesota’s prime moose territory.

The groups involved don’t expect the project to reverse the decline by itself. But Chris Dunham, forest manager for The Nature Conservancy, says restoring high-quality moose habitat is one area where they have the power to make a difference.

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