The Minnesota Land Trust has announced the completion of a land protection project with Houston County landowners Kent and Cheryl Holen. This is the second time in the past six months that a local landowner has protected private land in the Root River watershed; both projects made use of the new Outdoor Heritage Fund, which was created when voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008.
Located about six miles north of the Root River, the 244-acre property is characteristic of the scenic southeast; limestone bluffs poke through the forest canopy and intermittent streams flow to the Root River. The Land Trust was eager to work with the Holens to protect their property as it contains rare dry bluff prairie, a unique and disappearing habitat type.
This part of Minnesota is the only place in the state that contains dry bluff prairie, which is crucial for a variety of wildlife as well as the larger bluffland ecosystem. The Holens have really helped save an important piece of this natural asset by protecting their own land.