Land Conservation in Minnesota

Thank you for your interest in conserving Minnesota's outstanding natural features.

The Nature Conservancy has been working with communities, individuals and businesses to protect important natural areas in Minnesota since 1958. Acquiring key parcels of land is still one of the ways that we make sure important habitat is protected.

We have expanded the scope of our work to collaborate with private and public partners on conservation opportunities, fire management and compatible economic uses of natural areas.

The Conservancy actively acquires land that provides habitat for native species and natural communities in several areas of the state through a variety of techniques. We acquire land in ‘fee-title’ and acquire conservation easements. We acquire both land and conservation easements through fair market value purchases, donations and bargain sales.

We are also interested in gifts of real estate without significant natural value that can be sold to fund protection of important conservation areas throughout Minnesota.  Please see the Conservation Options page for more information and descriptions of a variety land protection options.

Most of our work in Minnesota is focused in the Priority Conservation Areas on this map (PDF, 3 MB). We also will occasionally work to protect land outside these areas that are identified as unique and high priority areas for biological diversity and/or are adjacent to existing conservation lands. (Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader)

If you have land within one of these areas or are interested in donating your property to help fund our efforts in conservation areas throughout the state, please complete this questionnaire (PDF, 70 KB) and return it to us at the address on the form or email us. To protect your privacy, please do not include sensitive personal information in this form. When using this form, you should never submit confidential financial or personal information, such as a credit card number.

If you are interested in protecting land that lies outside of our conservation areas, you might consider contacting the following partner non-profit organizations:
Minnesota Land Trust
The Trust for Public Land
The Conservation Fund

The local office of the following conservation agencies:
Soil and Water Conservation District
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Your city or county planning department.

For more information on land protection options, please consult the following excellent publication:
Land Protection Options: A Handbook for Minnesota Landowners, second edition, by Laurie Allman, for publication by The Nature Conservancy, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, The Trust for Public Land and the Minnesota Land Trust.

Sprinkled liberally with landowner profiles describing successful protection efforts throughout Minnesota, this booklet is an invaluable information source for how open spaces can be preserved. Charts, tables, photographs and illustrations combined with chapters on tax matters, stewardship considerations and partners create an attractive, user-friendly publication.

A free print copy of this booklet is available from The Trust for Public Land Web site or through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. You can also request it by phone at (651) 296-2835 or by writing to the Division of Ecological Services, Minnesota DNR, Attn: LPO book, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 25, St. Paul, MN 55155

For information and assistance on how to protect your neighborhood from development impacts, consult the following internet resources:

Community and Environmental Defense Services:  see fact sheets and online book How to Win Land Development Issues

1000 Friends of Minnesota Citizen’s Guide to Influencing Land Use Decisions

Again, thank you for your interest in working with The Nature Conservancy. Together we can ensure that Minnesota's great places are preserved for generations to come.


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