Hidden Pages

What does 'forever' really mean for conservation easements?

Often people who aren't familiar with conservation easements are a bit skeptical when we mention that our easements last forever.

Forever, as we are often told, it's a very long time.

But that's exactly the point: we're in the forever business. Minnesota Land Trust conservation easements last into perpetuity. Unlike some conservation programs you may hear about - for example, CRPs (Conservation Reserve Programs) - that have an end date, conservation easements last forever.

That's a big responsibility for the Minnesota Land Trust, one that we take seriously. It means that we are particular about the easements we complete. It means that we are rock-solid insistent on visiting every property - nearly 500 -  every single year to make sure the conservation values we set out to preserve are still intact.

And it means that we are working tirelessly to ensure that the Minnesota Land Trust is healthy enough to carry the weight of this responsibility long into the future:

  • We have the financial resources to steward every conservation easement into perpetuity.
  • We have gold-standard systems in place for every step of the easement process, including perpetual monitoring.
  • We have the people - staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, landowners, community members and partners - who are all committed to preserving Minnesota's treasured places.

Conservation easements have stood the test of time and have endured legal challenges intact. We're proud to work with hundreds of Minnesotans who use this tool to achieve their conservation goals.


Some places in Minnesota Really Do Deserve Protection Forever


Consider this:

  • Over the coming decades, Minnesota’s population is expected to increase by 20% to nearly 6.5 million. With the recession over, real estate development is now starting to rebound.
  • Nearly 800,000 acres of Minnesota’s grasslands are expected to convert to cropland in the next few years and less than 1% of native prairie remains.
  • Wetland loss is particularly severe in the western prairie-pothole region of the state, where over 90% of wetlands are gone. This loss diminishes important wildlife habitat, impacts water quality, and increases flooding.

As nationally recognized leaders in private land protection, Minnesota Land Trust works all over the state of Minnesota to preserve our most treasured places. Since 1991, we've worked with landowners to protect forests, shoreline, prairie and more - providing wildlife habitat, clean water, outdoor experiences and scenic beauty for generations to come.


Blanding's turtle habitat now protected forever.

A new conservation easement protects 50 acres of wetland and over 700 feet of shoreline on Height of Land Lake in Becker County, an area targeted for conservation because of its importance to wetland wildlife habitat.

The prairie pothole lakes and associated rivers and wetlands in this landscape form the backbone of one of the continent’s most important flyways for migratory waterfowl.
Preservation of the land, located across the lake from Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, also provides a unique opportunity to protect part of a wetland complex that is home to Blanding's turtles and short-eared owls, as well as uplands which provide important habitat for migrating waterfowl, song birds and other wildlife.

Click to read more ...


We're doing our part to get outdoors & have fun!

The Duluth News Tribune recently published a great story about our pilot program with the City of Duluth, with the goal of improving the city's recreation infrastructure. You can read more about this new initiative below, and you can read the article here.

Hansi Johnson, our new Director of Recreational Lands. Photo by Clint Austin, Duluth News Tribune.