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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

Metro Habitat Protection Program

For more information

Vanessa Perry
Program Manager
Direct: 651-917-6296

Application (PDF)

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 Twin Cities Metro Habitat Protection Program, a conservation initiative to permanently protect high quality wildlife habitat in the Twin Cities Metro area.
Over the past quarter century, the Land Trust has worked with 150 private landowners to protect 16,000 acres of the Metro’s treasured places. Metro habitat is critically important to protect water quality, wildlife habitat, green spaces for aesthetic beauty, and it provides recreational benefits for outdoor enthusiasts.

How the Metro Protection Program Works for You

 The Minnesota Land Trust is seeking landowners interested in securing a lasting legacy for their lands through conservation easements funded by Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage or Environment and Natural Resource Trust Funds.

Conservation easements are a vehicle by which landowners perpetually safeguard the conservation values of their property through legally-binding land-use restrictions.

Lands protected by a conservation easement remain in private ownership, so you still own your land. In addition, public access is not required.

The easement stays with the land ensuring the permanent preservation for generations to come.

Program Goals

Permanently protect high quality natural habitat and unique features of the Metro region through perpetual agreements that work for the landowner.

Overview of the Selection Process

 Applications will be reviewed, ranked, and prioritized in three rounds. Deadlines for consideration in each round are December 1, 2017, February 1, 2018, and April 1, 2018.

You may submit your application for consideration prior to any of these deadlines, however funds will not necessarily be reserved or distributed proportionately to each application round. Applications received after all funds are committed are not guaranteed to be reviewed for the current phase of this program, but may be considered later if additional funding becomes available.

Landowners must indicate their desired compensation—cost 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.

Application Review Dates

  • First Round of Review: December 1, 2017
  • Second Round of Review (if funding remains): February 1, 2018
  • Final Round of Review (if funding remains): April 1, 2018

Prioritization and Selection

Easements will be funded in order of assigned priority. The Land Trust will prioritize potential parcels for

protection using two sets of criteria:

1. Ecological

  • Habitat quality and quantity
  • Context relative to other protected lands such as parks, wildlife refuges, other conservation easements
  • Other benefits including scenic value, public access, water quality goals and others

2. Cost per acre of property

  • Landowner willing to donate some or all of the value of the conservation easement

Minimum Criteria

In order to protect the habitat complexes targeted in the Metro Habitat Protection Program, the Land Trust has set certain minimum criteria for inclusion into the program. Lands:

  • Must be located within the Metro Program area (see map)
  • Must contain high quality natural features including native plant communities (forests, prairies, woodlands), trout streams, shoreland along rivers and streams, or rare and threatened species 
  • Must not be already enrolled in permanent protection programs, such as RIM. Lands in non-permanent protections programs such as CRP may be eligible

Your application will be more competitive if you are willing to donate some or all of the value of the conservation easement. Projects that are the best fit for the Metro Habitat Protection Program will be larger in size (40 acres and above) and will have limited agricultural use (less than 20%).

Apply now to participate in the Metro Habitat Protection Program!

Benefits of Donating Conservation Easement Value: The Minnesota Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) public charity and 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.

Environment and Natural Resources Trust FundClean 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, and the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative and Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources.