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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

1-877-MLT-LAND

Email: mnland@mnland.org

 

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

Wednesday
Apr182018

A win for Minnesota birds

In the upper reaches of Northwestern Minnesota, along the border with Canada, lies the property of Wayne and Keith Johnson. Over 100 acres of classic Minnesota aspen woodland and sedge meadow wetlands - home to birds, bear, elk, and moose - are now protected forever thanks to a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust.

This unique property falls within an Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA) and a Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan Core Area, and its protection is the result of a partnership between the Minnesota Land Trust and Audubon Minnesota who are working to protect over 450 acres of land together. With support from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC), the goal of the partnership is to preserve essential wildlife habitat in the Tallgrass Aspen Parkland eco-region. The National Audubon Society has identified areas vital to birds and other wildlife across the country as a priority for conservation efforts. This property is in the Kittson-Roseau Aspen Parkland IBA, where Audubon Minnesota has compiled the documentation of over 262 different bird species. Sharp-tailed grouse and sandhill cranes have been spotted on the Johnson family property which is providing habitat for a host of other birds and wildlife.

“Important Bird Areas help guide conservation actions on the ground” said Alex Wardwell, Audubon Minnesota. “The Johnsons’ conservation easement, within this larger IBA and prairie core, is one piece in the landscape, but it adds considerable value to the overall integrity of other conserved lands and will have an positive and enduring impact on wildlife populations.”

Beyond the birds, this property is also of importance because it provides habitat for some of the few remaining Minnesota elk herds. With 79 elk counted in the last DNR survey in our state, every acre of habitat counts. Preserving natural grasslands in this region as elk habitat can also relieve some of the conflicts that arise when elk browse cultivated lands. Protecting private land can expand the impacts of other protected public and private lands, by creating corridors for wildlife and larger habitat blocks.

"There are more than 20,000 acres of protected lands in wildlife management areas around this particular property," says Pat Anderson, program manager with the Minnesota Land Trust. "By protecting their land with the Land Trust, Wayne and Keith are helping build critical connections for the wildlife and birds that rely on those areas to survive. And the fact that the land will stay private is important, as the landowners will continue to pay property taxes, hunt, recreate, and manage the land as they have been."

Alex Wardwell, (Audubon Minnesota); Elden Johnson; Wayne and Keith Johnson; Pat Anderson (Minnesota Land Trust)“Protecting the natural places of our state for future generations depends on the generous spirit of Minnesotans like Wayne and Keith as well as partnerships like this one with Audubon Minnesota,” says Kris Larson, executive director of the Minnesota Land Trust. “By taking this important step to preserve their land forever, they have really preserved a unique part of our state for all Minnesotans.”

“It was a pleasure to work with the team from Minnesota Land Trust and Audubon Minnesota as we looked into putting some of our land into an easement with them.” says Wayne Johnson. “They were very patient with us as we went through the process and then explained in detail what it would mean to us, and to the preserving of our land. Their extreme thoroughness helped us feel very comfortable with our decision to partner with them.”

This permanent conservation easement was made possible thanks to the members of the Minnesota Land Trust and with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC). Thank you to Audubon Minnesota, all our members and supporters, and most of all to Wayne and Keith Johnson who protected this unique property forever!

 

 

Thursday
Apr122018

Creating a family legacy for future generations

Nestled amongst three scenic Minnesota lakes in Otter Tail County is the unique property of Jim and Joan Burkett. This property is emblematic of the amazing wildlife habitat found in Otter Tail’s lake country and connects to more than 3,000 acres that have been protected near the Burkett’s land on Spitzer Lake. In order to ensure that their prairie, woodlands and wetlands remain intact, the Burkett’s recently acted to protect their property forever with a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust.

For Jim, protecting the land was his way of preserving his memories of watching his family growing up enjoying the land and water. “I’ve made so many memories recreating on this land; from the first duck my daughter shot, to my son’s first deer.” says Jim. “We host an annual Fourth of July event here for the family, and give the kids a scavenger hunt that takes them to different sections of the land to collect things like cattails and oak leaves. It exposes them to different parts of the property.”

The land is mostly forested, but features remnant prairie and oak savanna, both increasingly rare landscapes in Minnesota. In fact, oak savanna is considered Minnesota’s rarest remaining habitat type. The Burkett's long-term plan is to further restore and manage the prairie and oak savanna. Over the years they've seen a wide range of wildlife on their land, including bald eagle, whitetail deer, and American kestrel. Neighbors in the area have also seen hooded warbler and red-shouldered hawk as well.

Pat Anderson with Jim and Joan BurkettJim says that protecting the land will also allow future generations to make their own memories. “Probably the most important thing to us is leaving that legacy for the next generation; whether that’s in our family or whoever owns this in the future. It’s important for me to know that the character of this land won’t change, forever.”

In addition to the land and wildlife benefits of protecting this property, there are water benefits too. Otter Tail county has over 1,000 lakes, more than any other county in Minnesota, and the undeveloped shoreline along this piece of protected land will benefit the water quality in adjacent lakes for the years to come.

“It’s becoming harder and harder to find undeveloped shoreline along a lake in Minnesota nowadays,” says Pat Anderson, program manager at the Minnesota Land Trust. “By agreeing to a conservation easement, Jim and Joan have preserved the shorelines of three beautiful lakes which will help ensure that these lakes will have clean, undisturbed water for anyone who uses them in the future.”

“The work we do to protect the natural places in our state depends on the generous spirit of Minnesotans like Jim and Joan,” says Kris Larson, executive director of the Minnesota Land Trust. “Their desire to leave a legacy of outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat through this untouched natural landscape speaks volumes for them, and means we can now permanently protect a unique part of our state for all Minnesotans.”

This permanent conservation easement was made possible thanks to the members of the Minnesota Land Trust and with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC). Thank you to all our members and supporters, and most of all to Jim and Joan Burkett who protected this unique property forever!