Search our site:

Minnesota Made tickets

Give today and protect wildlife habitat forever

Include the Land Trust in your estate

Newsletter Sign-Up

Minnesota Land Trust

Minnesota Land Trust, a nonprofit 501(c)(3)

 2356 University Avenue West, Suite 240

Saint Paul, MN 55114

Phone: 651-647-9590




Staff Directory

Office Locations & Directions


Located on the Green Line, across the street from Raymond Station. On bus routes 16, 21, 63 and 67. Nice Ride location across the street, available seasonally. Parking available on the south side of the building and on the street (metered).




Land Trust Accreditation Commission    Charities Review Council


Interest for Others  Guidestar Platinum


Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund

Blufflands Protection Program

For more information

Nick Bancks
Program Manager
Direct: 651-917-6282

Application (PDF)

The Minnesota Land Trust is working with private landowners in Southeast Minnesota to protect the area’s natural resources.

Unlike any other part of the state, much of the Mississippi River Blufflands region has been largely untouched by glaciers over the past 500,000 years. As a result, the Blufflands are home to a distinctive landscape that supports a diverse array of forests, prairies, streams, and wildlife.

Program Goals

The goal of this program is to permanently protect 300 acres of high quality forest, prairie, and savanna in the Blufflands ecological subsection of southern Minnesota.

Competitive Application Process

This application is intended to allow landowners to apply for perpetual conservation easements purchased by the Minnesota Land Trust with public funds made available through grants provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund to protect high quality forest, prairie, savanna and riparian areas in Southeastern Minnesota.

Completed applications will be reviewed and prioritized relative to one another by the Land Trust based on a competitive process which considers two factors:

  1. The ecological value
  2. The amount a landowner bids to receive as payment (not to exceed 100% of appraised easement value).

Payment for a purchased conservation easement is made upon finalizing a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust.

Land Eligibility Requirements

In order to protect these targeted habitat complexes, certain minimum criteria must be met:

  • Land must be located within the Blufflands Program Area as set by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. There may be some limitations.
  • Minimum 40 acres in size.
  • Agricultural land consisting of row crops, tree farms, etc. may not comprise more than 10% of the property. This acreage will not be eligible for payment.
  • Acres already enrolled in permanent preservation programs, such as RIM, are ineligible. However, CRP, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s conservation easements may be eligible, depending on the level of protection of that particular program.
  • A Habitat Management Plan will be required.
  • Feedlots are not allowed.
  • Maximum of one single-family residence and associated buildings allowed per parcel.

Application Process and Deadline

Landowners should indicate on their application the amount they are willing to receive as compensation for their easement. Opting to donate a conservation easement will allow the Land Trust to conserve more land and may prioritize your application. The Land Trust cannot pay more than the full appraised value of the conservation easement.

Based on a legal description of the property or a property tax identification number, the Land Trust will be able to determine whether the property is located within the project area. Successful applications will be provided a one-time payment upon finalizing a conservation easement with the Land Trust.

The application period will remain open through January 30, 2017. Applications will be reviewed during the enrollment period or until all funding has been committed. Easements will be funded in order of assigned priority.

Apply now to participate in the Blufflands Protection Program!

Blufflands Program Area Map

Benefits of Donating Conservation Easement Value: As with other charitable contributions, the donation of a conservation easement under certain circumstances may allow the landowner to claim a federal income tax deduction for the value of the easement. A gift of a conservation easement may also reduce estate taxes. Please consult your tax advisor.

The Minnesota Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to protect and restore Minnesota’s most vital and natural lands in order to provide wildlife habitat, clean water, outdoor experiences and scenic beauty for generations to come. Established in 1991, we conserve land all over the state and have completed over 500 conservation easements.

Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

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