Conservation easements are individually tailored agreements through which landowners voluntarily limit the use and development of their property to permanently preserve its natural or scenic features. These features—called conservation values—might include significant wildlife and plant habitat, lake or river shoreline, wetlands, or important scenic or cultural lands which benefit the public.
In order to protect these conservation values, certain restrictions on use of the property and the reserved rights of the landowner are detailed in the conservation easement, which is a legal, recorded document. Conservation easements are perpetual; they apply to the current owner and all future landowners, permanently protecting the property.
You can also donate your land to the Minnesota Land Trust outright. We will protect the land with a conservation easement and convey to an appropriate conservation-minded owner.
Land cannot only be donated during one's lifetime, but also at the time of death. If you're interested in leaving your land in this manner, please contact us so that we can discuss your conservation goals for the land. Our staff can be reached at 651-647-9590.
During the past several years, the Minnesota Land Trust has worked with various developers, planners, and local units of government to design conservation-oriented developments. The Land Trust has consulted on many such projects, and holds easements in 32.
The Land Trust also worked with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and Design Institute to produce the Conservation Design Portfolio: Preserving Minnesota Landscapes Through Creative Development, which highlights seven residential developments that were specifically designed to minimize impacts on the lands and waters that surround them.