Hikers in a meadow adjacent to a river, under a cloudy sky.
Hikers in Tallgrass National Prairie Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota. © Richard Hamilton Smith

Places We Protect

Northern Tallgrass Prairie

Minnesota

The Nature Conservancy acquired 1,103 acres in Minnesota that are now part of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge.

Grasslands are one of the most endangered and least protected habitat types on Earth. Native prairie once covered as much as 18 million acres in Minnesota. Only about 235,000 acres of prairie remain today in the state.

The Nature Conservancy acquired 1,103 acres in Minnesota that have been added to the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established in 2000 to address the loss of America’s grasslands and the decline of grassland wildlife.

The Nature Conservancy acquired the lands and transferred them to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under a program recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and approved by the Minnesota Legislature. Funding for the acquisitions was provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund, which was created under the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

All of the properties acquired by The Nature Conservancy and added to the refuge are open to the public for outdoor recreation including hiking, birding and photography.

They also are all open to hunting, however, the FWS encourages hunters to check regulations as they may vary by unit. For additional information, please contact the appropriate unit manager.

Locations:
  • Brandenburg Prairie Unit: Portions of SE ¼ of Section 18, Mound Township, Rock County; 96°16’21”W  43°43’34”N  (43.726093°  -96.272660°)
  • Forstrom Unit: Portions of NW ¼ of Section 10, Norway Lake, Kandiyohi County; 95°11’16”W  45°23’54”N  (45.398363  -95.187906)
  • Hoffman Unit: N ½ NE ¼ of Section 35, Langhei Township, Pope County; 95°31’52”W  45°25’36”N  (45.426571°  -95.531000°)
  • Mears Unit: Portions of NW ¼ and N ½ NE ¼ of Section 14, McKinley Township, Kittson County; 96°34’12”W  48°56’53”N  (48.948364°, -096.570258°)
  • Pavia Unit: Portions of SE ¼ of Section 28, Lake Ida Township, Norman County; 96°23’9”W  47°15’10”N  (47.252831°  -96.385848°)
  • Pell Creek Unit: Portions of SE 1/4 of Section 12, Holly Township, Murray County; 95°27’45”W 44°10’24”N (44.163380°, -095.462657°)
  • Spieker Unit: Portions of NE 1/4 and W 1/2 of the SE 1/4 of Section 2, Riverton Township, Clay County; 96°26’31”W  46°53’12”N  (46.886858°, -96.441935°)
  • Storm Unit: Portions of N 1/2 of Section 35, Pelan Township, Kittson County; 96°25’41”W  48°38’11”N  (48.636542°, -096.428114°)
  • Woolcott Unit: N 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of Sec 7, Colfax Township, Kandiyohi County; 95°7’20” W  45°23’47”N  (45.396321°  -95.122199°)