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?
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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Completed Protection Projects in Your Area
- Persistence Pays Off—Protecting Tennyson Lake in Isanti County, MNThe Barrett family, headed by landowners Dale and Betty Barrett, have demonstrated incredible persistence in their steady pursuit to permanently protect Tennyson Lake in Isanti County, Minnesota, in the Minnesota Land Trust’s Twin Cities Metro conservation priority region. To date, they’ve permanently protected 322 acres of land or water and almost two miles of shoreline… Read more: Persistence Pays Off—Protecting Tennyson Lake in Isanti County, MN
- Ann Bancroft Partnership Protects Vital Metro Area Land ForeverBancroft, Minnesota Land Trust, and Washington County partner to protect 118 acres over two properties The Minnesota Land Trust, Washington County, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and two landowners, including polar explorer Ann Bancroft, have successfully closed on a land conservation partnership project that permanently protects approximately 118 acres over two properties in… Read more: Ann Bancroft Partnership Protects Vital Metro Area Land Forever
- Protecting the Waters of Hennepin CountyTwenty-five years ago, Tim and Susan Clark bought a parcel of pastureland in western Hennepin County. Their goal was simple, to create a home for themselves while restoring the diverse and natural lands that had once thrived on the property. And now, thanks to a conservation easement through the Minnesota Land Trust and Hennepin County,… Read more: Protecting the Waters of Hennepin County
Funding for this program is provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.