What is the process for requesting an easement?
It is recommended that you first contact the Lands and Minerals Regional Operations staff to review issues concerning land ownership, planned routes, and existing resource management uses. The DNR often requests that the proposed easement be realigned to minimize impacts.
Easement fees are based on a percentage of the appraised value of the area covered by the easement, plus an application fee of $2000.
Do I need permission to construct a road across state land administered by the DNR to access my property?
Yes, you must have either a lease or easement issued by the state. (An easement grants a long-term right to use or occupy the land for a specific purpose.) The DNR may issue an easement to cross state-owned lands for the purposes of constructing and maintaining roads. However, the DNR is not required to issue easements upon request. Also, DNR staff may request applicants to realign proposed easements to minimize impacts on the environment or natural resources. If the state-owned land is trust fund land, state law provides that the easement term is limited to 50 years.
Instructions for completing this application are contained within the application form. An accurate and complete application will help processing the request as rapidly as possible.
Minn. Stat., secs. 84.63, 84.631, 84.632, and 85.015, subd. 1b
Application Fee: The application fee is $2,000 and covers costs of reviewing the application and preparing the easement. The application fee is non-refundable, even if the application is withdrawn or denied.
Easement Fee: The easement fee is the payment for the market value of the easement. After the appropriate reviews and approvals of the application, the easement fee is calculated. The applicant can submit their own appraisal for the easement fee; the applicant's appraisal is subject to review and acceptance by the DNR. The DNR standard for the temporary easement fee is 50% of the market value, whereas the permanent easement fee is based on the full market value.
Monitoring Fees: In addition to the market value of the easement and application fee, the applicant can be assessed a monitoring fee to cover the projected reasonable costs for monitoring the construction of the easement and preparing special terms and conditions for the easement. The applicant will receive an estimate of the monitoring fee before the applicant submits the fee. Upon completion of construction, a refund of any unused balance of the monitoring fee will be returned to the applicant.
Easement Application Link:
Funding Restrictions on State Land
Some lands owned by the State of Minnesota were purchased using funds that put restrictions on the lands. Before the DNR can grant an easement over lands with funding restriction, DNR must receive written approval from the funding provider. This process can take several months.
The DNR encourages you to plan ahead for this review. Please contact your Division of Lands and Minerals Regional Operational Staff. They will determine if the state land you would like an easement over has funding restrictions.
If it is determined that funding approval is required, the items listed below should be submitted with your easement application.
- Map that indicates scope of entire project - preferably with aerial photo background and clearly labeled.
- Detailed map of project segment on DNR land.
- Project and construction description sufficient to evaluate potential impacts to natural resources and to recreational users, including time of the year construction will take place, type of equipment, and environmental precautions used.
- A cultural review of the project must be completed by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Depending on the results of the initial cultural review, a more detailed survey of historical and cultural assets may be needed. A copy of the letter from SHPO must be included.
- Description of alternate routes that were considered.
Contact your Division of Lands and Minerals Regional Operations staff for more information.