A Family's Committment to Conservation

Meet the Berge family.

Farmers in Pope County, they completed a conservation easement on their land last spring.

The Berges recently conserved their 284 acre land located in Pope County as part of a Conservation Grazing system that will ensure that viable, robust and diverse grasslands are maintained.

The idea of rotational grazing will be familiar to those who read Michael Pollan’s 2006 book Omnivore’s Dilemma, which detailed the practices of Polyface Farms and owner Joel Salatin. The Berge’s utilize temporary fencing to graze the cattle in small paddocks according to a prescribed regimen dictated by site-specific circumstances.

You can read a fascinating blog by photographer Paul Raymaker with more of his photographs and his highly engaging narrative of Jess Berge's commitment to his family and his land.

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A Visit to Ober's Mallard Island

“Oberholtzer, a pioneer conservationist, has been called ‘the original architect of the border wilderness.’ The movement he led would eventually produce the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Voyageur's National Park in Minnesota and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario.”

–The Minneapolis StarTribune selected Ober as one of the 100 Most Influential Minnesotans of the twentieth century.

We'd like to think that Ober, as his friends called him, would be pleased to know that his Rainy Lake island home is conserved forever with the Minnesota Land Trust.

Recently, staff stopped by for an annual monitoring visit, and received a wonderful tour by volunteer caretaker and Oberholzter Foundation Board Member Elaine Thrune. We saw Ober's books, sheet music, typewriter...it was like being in a museum, except the "don't touch" signs were absent.

The Review Islands,  including Mallard, Hawk, Crow and Gull, are located just a mile and a half from the Canadian border and are conserved in their entirety by the Minnesota Land Trust. Mallard Island contains several buildings and walking trails. The other islands are largely untouched.

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Very Special People Honored at a Very Special Place: Treasured Places 2015

Executive Director Kris Larson addressed the group at Saint John's University, our 2015 Partner of the Year.Minnesota Land Trust recognized the outstanding contributions towards Minnesota’s conservation legacy by New London residents Linda Liestman and Kay and Roger Strand at their annual “Treasured Places” celebration held on Saturday, September 19 at Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville. Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum and Outdoor University were recognized as well.

Ms. Liestman was honored as 2015 Minnesota Land Trust

2015 Volunteer of the Year Linda Liestman with Stewardship Director Ann Thies

“John Peck” Volunteer of the Year in recognition of her many years of work on behalf of the Land Trust since its formative years. She continues to perform annual visits to conserved properties on behalf of the Land Trust, and has spearheaded area conservation efforts including the permanent protection of wetlands at Koronis Hills Golf Club. In 1998, Linda protected her own land with the Minnesota Land Trust. More recently, Linda was instrumental in helping the Paynesville Township successfully complete a conservation easement with the Land Trust on an island in Lake Koronis.

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Metro Area Landowners: Have you considered conserving your own land?

Photo: Courtesy Paul RaymakerMinnesota Land Trust announces a new round of funding that supports wildlife habitat conservation in the greater Twin Cities metro area.

The goal of the Twin Cities Metro Habitat Program is to protect high quality prairie, forest and shoreline habitat across the greater Twin Cities area.

The Minnesota Land Trust works with landowners to permanently protect outstanding habitat through a ranking system and market approach for purchasing conservation easements. 

Lands entered into the program must meet the minimum requirements; you can learn more here, and download an application here.

The deadline for submitting applications is October 31st, 2015

For more information please contact Nick Bancks, or call 651-917-6282.