Integrated public and private land management
A comprehensive landscape approach to land and water health
Why is this important?
Natural resources don't start or stop at ownership boundaries. As a result, DNR's ability to administer state forests, parks, wildlife management areas, aquatic management areas, and scientific and natural areas is strongly influenced by the management of surrounding lands and waters. Integrating public and private land management helps us manage state lands for the benefit of all Minnesotans while enhancing the integrity of land and water across ownerships.
DNR is promoting integrated management of private and public lands in many ways. For example:
Comprehensive Land Asset Plans: We are developing comprehensive plans for acquiring and managing land. Such plans help us integrate economic, ecological, and recreational benefits. They also enhance real estate services, improve productivity of DNR-administered lands, and protect resources.
Land Records: We are improving the value of our land records system for informing decisions about land assets. The re-engineered system will increase efficiency and transparency of land transactions and improve public access to records.
Conservation Easements: A conservation easement is a restriction placed on a property to protect its conservation values. DNR holds more than 1,000 easements as large as 187,000 acres. We are improving our easement management system and seeking long-term funding for monitoring and enforcing easements.
Fee-Title Acquisition: Fee-title acquisition is a fundamental tool for protecting priority lands and waters as wildlife management areas, state parks, state forests, scientific and natural areas, and other DNR-administered units.
Landscape-scale Programs: We are pursuing integrated management for extensive interspersed public and private lands. We are strengthening our participation in public-private partnerships to build our capacity to work across ownership boundaries.
Learn about the DNR's comprehensive landscape approach to land and water health
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Forests for the Future Program
Forests for the Future Program: In 2007, a public-private partnership created one of the largest conservation projects in state history by protecting 51,000 acres of forest in northern Minnesota through a "working forest" conservation easement that connected more than 500,000 acres of public and private forest lands. DNR and partners established the Minnesota Forests for the Future Program to build on this success by setting a goal to protect an additional 530,000 acres of private forest lands throughout the state using conservation easements and other tools.
Adaptive Forest Management Projects
We are initiating six "adaptive forest management projects" to help improve sustainable forest management in the face of emerging challenges such as climate change and invasive species. In one of the projects— the Manitou Ecological Silviculture Project—DNR and partners are coordinating harvesting and conifer restoration across ownership boundaries to improve wildlife and biodiversity conservation while providing quality timber and reducing management costs.
The Working Lands Initiative
Grassland-wetland complexes, found in the historical prairie areas of Minnesota, are valuable for many species, including waterfowl, shorebirds, amphibians, pheasants, and deer. To meet Minnesota's long-term goals for waterfowl, pheasant, and upland bird populations, we will work with public and private partners through the Working Lands Initiative to reach our goal to restore and protect an additional 2 million acres of prairie wetlands and grassland.
Long term desired outcomes
- Public and private partners collaborate across boundaries to conserve resources at watershed and landscape scales.
- Healthy, natural systems provide more ecological, economic, and recreational benefits.