Anoka Sand Plain Protection Program

Conserve your forests, wetlands, and woodlands while still owning your land
Roslynn Long

For more information

Contact Kristina Geiger at:
(651) 917-6295

Apply online now.

Your land is important to you and has a unique character and history. As a landowner, you can be compensated for permanently protecting your property with a conservation easement.

The Minnesota Land Trust is currently accepting applications to participate in the Anoka Sand Plain Protection Program, a conservation initiative to permanently protect high quality wildlife habitat in the Anoka Sand Plain.

This page will help you decide if the program is right for you. Below, there is information about the program, conservation easements, project selection criteria, and an application.

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 550 dedicated landowners who steward over 60,000 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

Requirements to apply

Property must:

  • Be located within the Anoka Sand Plain Program area (see map). If uncertain, contact Kristina Geiger.
  • Be at least 40 acres in size
  • Contain less than 10% of proposed easement area in cultivation or have the potential to restore currently cultivated land (in excess of 10%) to native vegetation

Selection Process

Application Review

Applications will be reviewed, ranked, and prioritized in three rounds. Deadlines for consideration are September 1, and December 1, 2020. Funds are limited. Apply early.

Applications received after the deadline may not be reviewed for the current phase of this program, but may be considered later if funding is available.

Projects that are the best fit for the Anoka Sand Plain Protection Program will be larger in size and will have high quality natural lands with little development.

Landowners must indicate their desired compensation—payment per acre—for the easement on their application. Please note that the Land Trust cannot pay more than the full appraised value of the easement.

The Land Trust is able to conserve more land and may prioritize your property if you opt to donate some or all of the value of the conservation easement.

What is a Conservation Easement?

The Minnesota Land Trust is seeking landowners interested in securing a lasting legacy for their lands through conservation easements.

Conservation easements are voluntary agreements through which landowners agree to limit the future use and development of their property to permanently preserve its natural features.

Lands protected by a conservation easement remain in a landowner’s private ownership, with the landowner retaining the right to use and manage the land in line with the terms of the easement. Public access is not required.

When the land is transferred to a new owner, the easement stays with the land ensuring it is permanently preserved for generations to come.

Each conservation easement completed by the Minnesota Land Trust is individually crafted to reflect the special characteristics of the land and its uses. However, certain restrictions are required to protect the natural habitat and associated species.

Easement Value and Compensation

Easement value chartOn your application to the Anoka Sand Plain Protection Program, 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 choosen.

Applications to the program will be ranked on both the ecological value of the land to be protected and the payment amount desired. Indicating a lower desired payment per acre may result in a higher application rank. The Land Trust will evaluate all applications received and make selections from them.

If your application is selected, the Land Trust will use a certified appraiser to ascertain the value of the proposed conservation easement. This is done by determing the value of your land without the easement, and then the value of your land with the easement in place. The difference between the two is the easement value. The easement value ultimately stems from the property rights that have been restricted and the appraised value of those rights.

Upon finalizing the conservation easement, you would then receive a one-time payment for the amount indicated on this application, up to 100% of the appraised easement value. The Land Trust cannot pay more than the appraised value of the conservation easement.

The Minnesota Land Trust is a nonprofit organization and the donation of all or a part of a conservation easement may allow the landowner to claim a tax deduction. Please consult your attorney.

Prioritization and Selection

Easements will be funded in order of assigned priority. The Land Trust will prioritize potential parcels using two sets of criteria:

Ecological Value

  • Habitat quality and quantity
  • Context relative to other natural and protected lands such as parks, wildlife refuges, etc.

Payment per acre

  • Landowner’s desired compensation on a per acre basis and willingness to donate some or all of the value of the easement

Ready to apply? Apply online here.

For a paper copy of the application and landowner questionnaire, contact Kristina Geiger. A PDF copy is available for download here.

Questions? Contact Kristina Geiger at or 651-917-6295.

Legacy Amendment logo

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



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