We’re happy to announce that the Minnesota Land Trust has permanently protected nearly a mile and a half of shoreline in Sherburne County using funds from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, one of four funds created when voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008. The 548-acre, privately owned parcel, is situated on Stickney Lake, in the Mississippi River flyway – a globally important migratory bird route used by approximately 40% of all North American migrating waterfowl and shorebirds as they travel between Central Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.
“It’s the next best thing to having that area be park land.” That’s the reaction of Glendalough State Park Manager Jeff Wiersma when asked for his assessment of a new conservation easement located adjacent to the park. Forty-eight acres of land located adjacent to Glendalough State Park in Otter Tail County is protected from development forever.
This conservation easement is particularly significant because it extends the natural characteristics of Glendalough State Park’s northern boundary, on a lake that has already experienced considerable shoreline development.
This new easement joins three that are already in place on the park’s eastern boundary along Lake Emma. All told, the four easements add well over two miles of undeveloped shoreline to the park’s nine miles of shoreline.
Congress recently renewed a 2006 incentive that gives landowners a significant tax benefit when they donate a conservation easement on their land. This has been an invaluable conservation tool, helping the Minnesota Land Trust work with willing landowners to protect thousands of acres since it was first enacted in 2006. The extension is currently set to expire December 31, 2013.
Generous landowners who donate voluntary conservation easements to the Minnesota Land Trust are inspired by many things: they love the landscapes of Minnesota, they feel connected to their land and its story, and they wish to leave a legacy for future generations. This inspiration is central to our work to permanently protect Minnesota’s treasured places.
Rolling hills, steep ridges with views of Lake Superior, and river gorges with wetlands. Old-growth pine and cedar forests bisected by the Superior Hiking Trail. Over 12,000 feet of shoreline along the Encampment and Crow rivers, ponds and streams. If this sounds like one of our North Shore state parks, it’s because it’s big and scenic enough to be one of them.
A new conservation easement northeast of Two Harbors protects nearly one thousand acres from development. In combination with adjacent protected property, it’s approximately the same size as Gooseberry State Park, creating one of the larger complexes of undeveloped natural lands along the North Shore.
“Being able to create a complex of protected land – especially such a large amount of acreage in a rapidly developing area – is extremely helpful for habitat protection,” according to Fitz Fitzgerald, Northern Region Conservation Director for the Land Trust. “It’s also great for the general public; one of the most beautiful stretches of the Superior Hiking Trail follows ridge lines on the property. The views of Lake Superior are fantastic!”