Twin Cities Region Land Protection Program

Protect forests, wetlands, and woodlands while maintaining ownership of your property
Lake with cattails and marsh grass in the foreground, willow trees and an orange, blue and purple sunset

Protect the land you love

The Twin Cities region is home to a unique array of natural habitats, from oak savannas to Big Woods forests.

The Minnesota and St. Croix rivers merge with the Mississippi here, creating important corridors for wildlife and migratory birds.

The area also provides outstanding scenic and recreational opportunities for thousands of Minnesota residents. 

But you already know this because you live here, in this beautiful and bustling region of the state. And you know how critical it is to balance community development with natural resources access and environmental services for the residents and wildlife here.

The Minnesota Land Trust is seeking willing private landowners to help protect this important habitat through permanent conservation easements on their land. Will you join us in preserving this region for future generations?

Download the Brochure

Have questions? Contact Lydia Fermanich at 651-240-7889 or

Do you qualify?

The proposed conservation easement area must: 

  • Be located within the Twin Cities Region, which include all or portions of the following counties: Sherburne, Isanti, Anoka, Chisago, Washington, Ramsey, Hennepin, Wright, Scott, Carver, Meeker, McLeod, Sibley, and Dakota.
  • Be greater than 30 acres in size. 
  • Contain high quality natural features such as native plant communities (forests, prairies, woodlands), shoreland along rivers and streams, or rare and threatened species. 
  • Contain less than 10% in cultivation or have the potential to restore currently cultivated land (in excess of 10%) to native vegetation.
  • Not already be enrolled in permanent land protection programs. 
Twin Cities Metro Conservation Program Area map

Why apply?

  • Protect Minnesota’s important wildlife habitat, water quality, and beautiful open spaces  
  • Preserve your family’s legacy on the land 
  • Join a community of more than 700 dedicated landowners who steward over 74,000 acres of important Minnesota places 
  • Receive tax incentives or other compensation for a permanent conservation easement on your property 
  • Receive a free habitat management plan, with the potential for financial and technical land management assistance 

What is a conservation easement?

A conservation easement safeguards the natural features of a property through voluntary, legally binding, and permanent land use restrictions.

Lands protected by a conservation easement remain in the landowner’s private ownership.

Public access is not required. The easement stays with the land, ensuring permanent preservation for generations to come. 

What are the terms?

Conservation easements are complex legal documents. Land Trust conservation easement terms generally:  

  • Permit low impact recreational uses, such as camping and hunting. 
  • Prohibit or limit agricultural uses, including wildlife food plots. 
  • Permit vegetation management in accordance with a habitat management plan approved by the Land Trust. The first plan is funded by the Land Trust.  
  • Prohibit division into separate ownerships. One conservation easement per owner. 

Easement value and compensation

On your application, you must specify a desired payment amount per acre. The amount you choose may affect whether your project is ranked and if it is ultimately chosen.  

Applications to the program will be ranked on both the ecological value of the land and the payment amount desired. The Land Trust will evaluate all applications received and make selections.  

If your application is selected, the Land Trust will use a certified appraiser to determine the value of the proposed conservation easement. Upon finalizing the conservation easement, you would receive a one-time payment, up to 100% of the appraised value.

The Land Trust cannot pay more than the appraised value of the conservation easement. 

Are You Ready to Permanently Protect Your Land?

Have questions? Contact Lydia Fermanich, Minnesota Land Trust Program Manager at

Completed Protection Projects in Your Area

Funding for this program is provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

Our Mission

The Minnesota Land Trust protects and restores Minnesota’s most vital natural lands. Learn more.

Support Us

A donation to the Minnesota Land Trust is an investment in conservation for Minnesota.

Donate Now

Privacy Policy | Charitable Solicitation Disclosures

The Minnesota Land Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.

For: Staff Members | Board Members

Copyright © 2013 - 2024 Minnesota Land Trust

Copyright © 2024 Minnesota Land Trust

2356 University Ave W Ste 240, Saint Paul, MN 55114
394 S Lake Ave, Ste 404, Duluth, MN 55802


Staff Directory
Contact Information & Directions
Sign up for E-News
Website Privacy Policy


Discover more from The Minnesota Land Trust

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading