North Shore Coldwater Fisheries Program

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.
Fishing at Big Fork River, a state water trail.

Conserve Forest & Wetlands While Still Owning Your Land

The Minnesota Land Trust is currently accepting applications to participate in the North Shore Coldwater Fisheries Program, a conservation initiative to permanently protect high quality wildlife habitat along cold water rivers and streams in the Lake Superior watershed.

Secure a lasting legacy for your land through a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust! To qualify for the North Shore Coldwater Fisheries Program your property must:

  • Be located within the program area, which includes portions of the following counties: Cook, Lake, St. Louis, Itasca, Aitkin, Carlton, and Pine. If uncertain, contact the Land Trust;
  • Be at least 40 acres in size.

Why Apply for the North Shore Coldwater Fisheries Program?

  • 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 625 dedicated landowners who steward over 68,000 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

Application Deadline: July 31, 2023

Download the Brochure

Have Questions or Want More Information?

Contact Pat Collins, Program Manager at 218-221-7770 or
Ready to apply to the North Shore Coldwater Fisheries Program?

Application Deadline: July 31, 2023

Conservation Easements—What They Are & How They Work

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.

Applying for the Northshore Coldwater Fisheries Program

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 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 determining 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.

Have Questions or Want More Information?

Contact Pat Collins, Program Manager at 218-221-7770 or
Ready to apply to the North Shore Coldwater Fisheries Program?

Application Deadline: July 31, 2023

Completed Protection & Restoration Projects in Your Area

  • Restoring Habitat for a Threatened Species on Interstate Island
    Big problems require a champion, someone with a specific mix of skills, connections, and vision, who can systematically and patiently work a process and stay connected to the larger purpose to bring the vision into reality. In 2019, Interstate Island and its Common Tern colony needed a champion. The 6-acre dredge spoil island in the … Read more
  • The Importance of Bogs
    In the rugged landscape of northeastern Minnesota, a diverse range of habitats converge in one of the most popular recreational destinations in the state. Rocky shoreline, highlands, streams, and spruce bogs provide habitat for a multitude of species. Dick Haney, a native of Duluth and landowner in the area, has been a long-time observer and … Read more
  • Protecting Minnesota’s North Woods
    Minnesota’s iconic northern forests are home to some of Minnesota’s most storied species and provide unique outdoor recreation and hunting opportunities. Unfortunately, as the development of forest lands has accelerated over the years, the extensive network of wildlife habitat and publicly accessible open space in northern Minnesota has been threatened. Working to reverse this trend, … Read more

This permanent conservation easement was made possible thanks to the members of the Minnesota Land Trust and Hennepin County with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC), and by Hennepin County.

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.

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Copyright © 2013 - 2023 Minnesota Land Trust

Copyright © 2023 Minnesota Land Trust

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