LaSalle Lake State Recreation Area Acquisition
$1,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with The Trust for Public Land to acquire approximately 190 acres to be designated as a state recreation area as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, subdivision 3, on LaSalle Lake adjacent to the upper Mississippi River. If this acquisition is not completed by July 15, 2012, then the appropriation is available to the Department of Natural Resources for other state park and recreation area acquisitions on the priority list. Up to $10,000 may be retained by the Department of Natural Resources at the request of The Trust for Public Land for transaction costs, associated professional services, and restoration needs.
Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".
Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".
LaSalle Lake, a 211 acre lake in northwestern Hubbard County, is the second deepest lake in the state at 213 feet. It is surrounded by thousands of acres of natural areas that include rare species, high-quality forest and wetlands, coldwater stream, and portions of the Upper Mississippi River. In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Trust for Public Land is coordinating a multi-phase effort to permanently protect a total of 980 acres surrounding LaSalle Lake for the creation of LaSalle State Recreation Area, making the area available for public enjoyment for generations to come. This appropriation is being used to purchase a 190 acre portion of the total acreage that includes some of the highest quality habitat and biodiversity as identified by the Minnesota County Biological Survey.
OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
On October 27, 2011, The Trust for Public Land acquired 721 acres on La Salle Lake in Hubbard County and immediately conveyed the property to the DNR. Funding for approximately 94 of these acres was provided by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Combined with 269 acres previously acquired on December 22, 2010, the land now forms the new La Salle Lake State Recreation Area. Funding for the acquisition of this property was as follows:
|Funding Source||Allocated Acreage||Amount|
|Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund||94||$990,000|
|Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund||528||$5,547,000|
|Parks and Trails Fund||99||$1,953,000|
(puchase price and appraised value)
In addition to the land acquisition capital noted above, the following amounts were appropriated for DNR land acquisition costs, initial site development and restoration: Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund $10,000; Outdoor Heritage Fund $85,000; and Parks and Trails Fund $147,000. The DNR has used these funds to conduct a number of activities on the site including restoration of areas to native species, invasive species control, trail system establishment, fencing removal, and reforestation of areas damaged by a major blowdown in 2012.
Protection of the La Salle Lake property was a high priority for multiple stakeholders. It was the number one priority for the DNR Northwest Region in 2010-2011, which had sought to protect it for over a decade. The acquisition also enjoyed strong local support including unanimous approval from the Hubbard County Board. Numerous organizations and individuals provided letters of support including: the Park Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA), the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Trout Unlimited, and the Audubon Society.
Acquisition of the La Salle Lake property successfully seized a rare opportunity to protect a large area of habitat of regional and statewide significance that includes the entirety of Minnesota's second deepest lake, a coldwater stream, high-quality forest and wetlands, and over a half mile of Mississippi River shoreline. The property is ranked as having Outstanding Biodiversity Significance by the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS). It also provides excellent recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and wildlife observation. The acquisition furthers the goals of multiple state conservation plans and connects large parcels of land already in public ownership preventing forest fragmentation and guaranteeing wildlife large landscapes in which to roam. This unique and important habitat was at risk of development and was listed for sale until The Trust for Public Land obtained an option to purchase the property and ultimately conveyed it to the DNR for permanent stewardship.
PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION<
Information about this project has been widely disseminated in a variety of ways. The Trust for Public Land has publicized it on its website, http://www.tpl.org/what-we-do/where-we-work/minnesota/la-salle-lake.html, in broadcast emails to its list serve members, and in other Trust for Public Land publications. The DNR issued a press release on the acquisition, which many news providers covered including the Pioneer Press, MPR, the Park Rapids Enterprise and a number of other papers through the AP wire. Television coverage was provided by Channel 9 TV and Channel 11 TV. The DNR further did a story on this project in its Conservation Volunteer magazine, and has a great deal of information about it on its website. See the following link: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/la_salle_lake/index.html