Protect Critical Habitat & Natural Resources While Maintaining Property Ownership

You can help improve drinking water and aquatic habitat; ensure that prairie streams, wetlands and grasslands continue to provide critical habitat for pheasants and other wildlife; and help preserve your way of life in southwest Minnesota.

The Minnesota Land Trust is seeking private landowners who wish to help protect this important habitat through a permanent conservation easement on their land, including their grazing lands and retired agricultural lands. Will you help us preserve Minnesota for future generations?

Front of the program brochure

For more information see the program brochure

Find Out if Your Property Could Qualify for a Conservation Easement

Contact Conservation Program Manager Chad Kingstrom at 651-377-0338, or submit a Landowner Request form.

What is a Conservation Easement?

A conservation easement is a legal document that 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. The easement is perpetual, meaning future owners of the property have to abide by its terms. Learn more about conservation easements by reviewing our Conservation Easement FAQ.

Why Apply for a Conservation Easement?

  • Protect Minnesota’s important wildlife habitat, water quality, and beautiful open spaces  
  • Preserve your family’s legacy on the land
  • Receive tax incentives or other compensation 
  • Receive a free habitat management plan and possible financial and technical land management assistance

We Need You!

Over 70% of lands in Minnesota are privately owned. Public conservation lands cannot provide enough of the clean air and water, abundant fishing and hunting, and species biodiversity that we need.

Eligibility Requirements for the Southwest Minnesota Program

The proposed property to be protected must meet the following requirements to be eligible for this specific program:

  • Be located within the program area, which may include all or portions of the following counties: Brown, Lac qui Parle, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine, Renville, Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood, Pipestone, Murray, Cottonwood, Rock, Nobles, and Jackson;
  • Properties located within the Wildlife Action Network or Prairie Plan areas as shown on the map may be given higher priority;
  • Be at least 40 acres in size;
  • Contain less than 20% of proposed easement area in cultivation, or have the potential to restore currently cultivated land (in excess of 20% to native vegetation;
  • Properties with full development wind leases are ineligible for this program.

Are You Ready to Take the Initial Step to Protecting Your Land Forever?

Join over 700 other dedicated private land stewards across Minnesota who have put their land to work in support of environmental conservation.

Completed Protection & Restoration 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.

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