The Minnesota Forest Legacy Program uses federal funds, state funds, or both to purchase permanent conservation easements that restrict development and other uses of private property to keep targeted forested areas intact so they provide important forest benefits. The landowner retains ownership and can continue forest uses such as timber management, recreation, hunting, and hiking. All easements are permanent, and any new owner is bound by the terms of the easement.
This program is geared to landowners who would like to ensure that forests on their property are protected from development. The landowner chooses whether to participate. Participating landowners selects which parts of their property to include. Each landowner also decides whether to accept a cash payment or donate all or some of the appraised value of a conservation easement. Traditional forest uses such as forest management, recreation, and hunting of the property can continue under the guidance of a woodland stewardship plan.
What land is eligible?
To participate in the Minnesota Forest Legacy Program, land must:
- be within one of Minnesota's active Forest Legacy areas. These areas include Brainerd Lakes/Walker, Lower St. Croix, North Duluth, Rice County Big Woods, Grand Rapids,Wabasha Blufflands, and Koochiching.
- be at least 20 acres and at least 90 percent forested or planned to be forested. Any type of forest land—whether natural or planted – is eligible.
What's the timeline and process?
- Landowners with eligible/priority lands should complete and submit an application. The deadline for applications varies each year.
- Anytime (sooner is better)
- Landowners with eligible land are encouraged to obtain a woodland stewardship plan if the land to be enrolled does not have one.
- DNR staff will work with prospective applicants to complete their applications and negotiate a draft conservation easement.
- Landowners will be notified if their project was selected for funding.
Landowners with eligible land who want to participate in the Minnesota Forest Legacy Program should contact:
Christine Ostern Forest Legacy Program Coordinator.