As development has increased around Minnesota’s lakes, protecting what undisturbed shoreline remains is vital for ensuring water quality. Fortunately, conservation-minded individuals like Donald Hunke have stepped up around the region to protect the lands and waters we all rely on. Recently Hunke worked with the Minnesota Land Trust to preserve his unique forested property near Kabekona Lake.

Kabekona River

For generations the Hunke family has recreated on the land, and protecting it for the future was a priority for them. More than just a private respite though, the Hunke property has important implications for all Minnesotans. The property is an important contributor to the high water quality in Kabekona Lake, with almost a mile of the Kabekona River passing through it. A tullibee lake, Kabekona Lake provides perfect habitat for the smaller fish that popular game fish like Walleye rely on.

“The importance of this section of river can’t be understated,” said Ruurd Schoolderman, program manager at the Minnesota Land Trust. “It features a robust and healthy native trout population, which is becoming more of a challenge to maintain as we see these areas get developed. By working with the Land Trust, Donald has ensured that this land will continue to help maintain the water quality of Kabekona Lake, and that he can continue to manage it the way he has for years to come.”

“This project is a win-win for everyone,” says Kris Larson, executive director of the Land Trust. “This private land will forever offer a benefit to the greater public by keeping the waters of this beautiful lake clean.”


Special Thanks

Legacy logoThis permanent conservation easement was made possible by the members of the Minnesota Land Trust, with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC). Thank you to the Northern Waters Land Trust for their partnership on this project, and of course to Donald Hunke for protecting this unique property forever.





Feet of Shoreline


Species Protected

Osprey, trumpeter swan, American black bear, mountain lion, river otter, bobcat

People & Partners

Northern Waters Land Trust

Hunke closing photo



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