Application Deadline Approaches!

August 28, 2015 markes the rapidly approaching deadline for landowners in Southeastern Minnesota to get their applications in to be included in this current project timeline.

We're looking for landowners who will help protect high quality habitat and scenic lands in this landscape, an area of very high biodiversity. Because at least 97% of Minnesota's Southeastern Blufflands area is privately held, the only way we can conserve this important biodiversity is through voluntary and permanent land conservation.

To learn more about the program, click here. A map of the project area is found here, and the application may be found here.

For more information, you may call Nick Bancks at 651-917-6282, or email him at

This program is supported by members and by funding provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.


Treasured Places: An adventurous appreciation for members, volunteers, landowners, partners...and YOU!

We hope you'll join us for this year's Treasured Places celebration on Saturday September 19 at Saint John's University.

This is our annual event that moves around the state to give us the opportunity to showcase some of the amazing landowners and partners who tirelessly and generously labor to conserve really great land, and the volunteers who help make sure it stays that way.

We have a wonderful day planned:

10:30 Registration/welcome
11:00 Program
12:00 Lunch and mingle time
1:30 Your choice of optional activities

Option 1: "Nature for the Nation," a walking play about Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau
Option 2: A visit to the Richard Bresnahan studio and tour of the kiln. Richard is a Saint John's Artist in Residence who creates pottery using materials sustainably harvested from the Saint John's Arboretum
Option 3: A guided walk along Lake Sagatagan on the Chapel Trail, through the oldest stand of planted trees in Minnesota
Option 4: Guided viewing of the Saint John's Illuminated Bible pages

To reserve your spot, please click here. We greatly appreciate purchasing your lunch ticket ahead of time; the play requires a ticket. The other optional afternoon activities are free.

Hope to see you there!


Radio Tower Bay Work Is Nearly Done!

Within the next few weeks, the Minnesota Land Trust will be wrapping up the dredging operation at Radio Tower Bay in the St. Louis River where, all told, approximately 115,000 cubic yards of wood waste is being removed.

Who wins?

First and foremost, the fish. Four feet of wood waste is not a nice place to hang out or have babies. We expect the river bed to re-naturalize, which will recreate the food and resting places the fish need. Turtles will also like their nice new riverbed home, since they burrow into the mud to wait out the cold winter months.

Who else? The birds! Over 230 species of birds depend on the St. Louis River estuary during migration. Grasses and other vegetation will begin to emerge in the cleaned-up Bay and the birds will definitely benefit from this more hospitable stopover spot.

People benefit as well. The St. Louis River Estuary is a treasure to more than a quarter million residents and 3.5 million tourists who live, work and play along its shores.

We're excited about completing this first major cleanup project in the St. Louis River Estuary. Stay tuned...there are more to come!


Once a site for war games, now a haven for herons

Herons have returned to Dick and Gloria Nord's land. Photo: Tom NordIn an area of rolling glacial hills, wetlands and pothole lakes, legions of migratory birds once darkened the skies in the fall and spring.

Today, the oak savannah, hardwood forests and wetlands have largely given way to housing developments and agricultural fields.

Now a small corner of Otter Tail and Becker Counties is conserved into perpetuity because of the perseverance and vision of landowners Dick and Gloria Nord.

But first, let’s tell the story of the herons.

Several years ago, the Nords were surprised to see Bradley Fighting Vehicles in the open field across the road from their property. The National Guard was conducting war game training exercises near a heron rookery, an activity that would cause nearly all of the 70 nesting pairs to abandon their roosts.

Click to read more ...