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Minnesota Land Trust

 2356 University Avenue West, Suite 240

Saint Paul, MN 55114

Telephone: (651) 647-9590


Located on the Green Line, across the street from Raymond Station

On bus routes 16, 21, 63 and 67

Nice Ride location across the street, available seasonally

Street parking at metered spots


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Land Trust Accreditation Commission    Charities Review Council


Protecting Jim Brandenburg's Land

The land speaks, and the artist translates

Judd Lake: Jim BrandenburgThe setting was spectacular: a waterfall gurgling over lichen covered boulders. Tall pines standing sentinel over a pristine lake in the wilderness of northern Minnesota. Boggy, nearly impenetrable wetlands harboring the secrets of the surrounding boreal forest, the tranquility broken only by the raucous cackling of a raven.

It was a place that eventually brought fame and good fortune to this humble photographer from Luverne, Minnesota who “grew up in a cornfield where nothing was natural.”

This place is Judd Lake, a remote Border Country lake just off the Fernberg Trail east of Ely.

Millions of people all over the world immersed themselves in Jim Brandenburg’s iconic photographs of wolves, lynx and bear that he photographed on this remote and wild Judd Lake property. Even James Taylor called, asking to visit Jim so he could see a wolf.

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There goes the neighborhood!

One hundred and fifty years ago, west central Minnesota was what you might think of as bird heaven.

Wetlands, shallow prairie lakes and ponds dotted the Bald eaglelandscape along with hardwood forests, oak savanna and tallgrass prairie.

This rich mosaic supported millions of nesting and migratory birds, providing a gigantic picnic grounds for wildlife of all kinds.

Today much of this land is farmed, and only about 15% of it is forested.  That's the bad news.

The good news is that pockets of "prairie pothole" lakes remain. While fragmented, important areas of forest and prairie still exist as well.

This is the space where the Minnesota Land Trust steps in, along with three caring and willing families who wish to protect and restore the wetlands, forests and prairies on their land forever.

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