Strategic Land Asset Management

Photo of a sign showing a WMA boundary, DNR staff member surveying land, and DNR staff member pounding in a for sale property sign on state land.

Managing your state land holdings

The DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state land on behalf of the citizens of Minnesota and is continually working to improve its land portfolio. DNR regularly evaluates the state's land holdings and looks for ways to improve habitat, conservation, and recreation. The agency strives to reduce land-management costs and find efficiencies.

State land management goals

DNR staff members looking at a map of state lands and resources

  • Increase close-to-home outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Protect significant and/or rare natural resources
  • Protect and restore water resources
  • Mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • Expand access to existing land holdings
  • Consolidate land ownership, creating larger, contiguous blocks of DNR lands

DNR uses a detailed set of criteria to determine whether a proposed acquisition meets our SLAM acquisition goals.

Strategies we use

  • Hold and manage lands that meet public recreation or conservation needs.
  • Exchange lands with partners to consolidate and reduce the number of isolated parcels.
  • Sell lands when they no longer meet conservation or recreation purposes and reinvest the income in better lands.
  • Purchase new lands from willing sellers that meet state land-management goals.

We use these strategies in consultation with DNR staff, local government officials and others. The DNR's goal is to ensure public lands meet the recreational needs of Minnesota's citizens; continue to provide clean air and water, support natural resource-based economies, and maintain habitat for fish and wildlife.

Land exchange example

Before land exchange After land exchange

These maps illustrate how land exchanges between counties and the state could help reduce the number of isolated parcels, simplify boundaries, and create larger blocks of land to allow for improved habitat and timber management.

The DNR and counties manage state lands

Pie chart of DNR and County managed lands. 33 percent is county managed and 67 percent is DNR managed state land

DNR and county-managed lands
8.4 million acres

Pie chart of DNR managed lands by land type. 27 percent is Aquired and purchased land. 28 percent is consolidated conservation area land. Less than 1 percent is Volstead land. 45 percent is School and university trust fund land.

DNR-managed lands by land type
5.6 million acres

Questions? Please contact:

Kerstin Larson, Planning Director
[email protected]