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Minnesota Land Trust, a nonprofit 501(c)3

 2356 University Avenue West, Suite 240

Saint Paul, MN 55114

Phone: 651-647-9590




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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

Metro Habitat Protection Program

For more information

Nick Bancks
Program Manager
Direct: 651-917-6282

Application (PDF)

The Minnesota Land Trust, in partnership with other conservation organizations, is working to protect key pieces of land in the Twin Cities Metro region.

We are currently accepting applications to participate in a conservation easement program that will permanently protect high quality habitat in this landscape.

How the Metro Protection Program Works for You

Through a Request for Proposal (RFP), we are seeking landowners interested in securing a lasting legacy for their lands through conservation easements funded by Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage and Environment and Natural Resource Trust Funds.

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

Lands protected by a conservation easement remain in private ownership.

The easement runs with the land, and not the landowner, ensuring the permanent preservation of lands 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.
  • Provide resources to landowners to restore and enhance natural habitats on their lands.

Overview of the Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until funds are fully committed. Any applications received after August 26 are not guaranteed to be reviewed or considered eligible for the program.

Easements will be funded in order of assigned priority. Landowners must indicate desired compensation for easement on their submitted 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: June 30, 2016
  • Second Round of Review (if funding remains): July 29, 2016
  • Final Round of Review (if funding remains): August 26, 2016

Prioritization and Selection

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

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 below).
  • Must be at least 40 acres in size.
  • Must have a maximum of 20% of total proposed easement area in agricultural use (e.g. row crops, tree farms, orchards).
  • Must contain high quality 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 (CRP, etc.) may be eligible.

Metro Program Area Map

Apply now to participate in the Metro Habitat Protection Program!

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.

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.