Protect Your Land

Protection Options for Minnesota Landowners

We can work with you to support your land protection goals.
Paul Raymaker

There are as many reasons to protect land as there are people who love it. Some want to give something back to their local community while others want to create a conservation legacy to support future generations, or simply protect a special place they love.

With over 70% of lands in Minnesota privately owned, we need private landowner support to ensure our lands can provide enough of the clean air and water that we all rely on, as well as the critical native habitat that is required to preserve species biodiversity in the face of increased development pressure and climate change.

The support of caring, conservation-minded private landowners is essential to ensure the places we all love are protected in perpetuity.

Grant-Funded Permanent Conservation Easement

Could your property qualify?

Provide a few basic details about your land and connect with a program manager to find out if a conservation easement is a good fit.

Private Lands Protection Options

We can work with you to support your land protection goals—connect with a Land Trust program manager who can help you find the best fit for your family and land. Click or tap on the arrows below to learn more about each land protection option.

Permanent Conservation Easements

The Minnesota Land Trust primarily leverages legal conservation easements to protect land, shoreline and water permanently. These are individually tailored agreements through which landowners voluntarily limit the use and development of their property to permanently preserve its natural or scenic features. These features, called conservation values, might include significant wildlife and plant habitat, lake or river shoreline, wetlands, or important scenic lands which benefit the public.

Conservation easements can be used to protect a variety of lands that benefit the public through their conservation values. The Minnesota Land Trust concentrates its efforts on protecting:

  • Wildlife habitat such as prairies, forests, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and streams.
  • Water for drinking and recreation.
  • Climate change resilient lands, promoting species biodiversity, and connecting nature corridors.
  • Scenic landscapes, particularly those with local community significance.

Most conservation easements are placed on privately owned lands. However, sometimes public lands are protected with a conservation easement. Find out if a conservation easement may be right for you and get answers to common questions about conservation easements.

Land Donation

The Minnesota Land Trust may accept gifts of real estate subject to the Land Trust’s Gift Acceptance Policy. Typically, the Land Trust does not retain property for the long term but will sell the land and use those funds to further the mission of the organization. If you would like to donate land to the Minnesota Land Trust, please contact us to discuss next steps.

Life Estate

If you donate your land but keep a life estate, you retain ownership and use of the land for the remainder of your life. Upon your death, ownership of the land will be transferred to the Minnesota Land Trust. If you’re interested in leaving your land in this manner, please contact us so that we can discuss your conservation goals for the land.

Get the Landowner Options Guide

Learn more about options for protecting your land as a private landowner and get more information about conservation easements.

About the Minnesota Land Trust

Since our first project was completed in 1993, we have helped protect tens of thousands of acres and hundreds of miles of shoreline from future development. We’ve also worked to restore thousands of acres of imperiled habitat on permanently protected lands.

The Minnesota Land Trust is a non-governmental 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works in every corner of the state to protect the places we love and rely on along with our partners including federal, state, and local governments; other conservation non-profits; Indigenous nations; private companies and private landowners. Learn more about the Minnesota Land Trust and our accreditations.

Private Lands Protection Stories from Across Minnesota

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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The Minnesota Land Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.

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