MeCC V - Protect Significant Habitat by Acquiring Conservation Easements (3.2)

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient
Minnesota Land Trust
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2009
End Date
June 2011
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Monitoring
Restoration/Enhancement
Counties Affected
Anoka
Carver
Chisago
Dakota
Goodhue
Hennepin
Isanti
Le Sueur
Nicollet
Ramsey
Rice
Scott
Sherburne
Sibley
Washington
Wright
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009, Chp. 143, Sec. 2, Subd. 04f3.2
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

Project Outcome and Results
During the fifth phase of the Metro Corridors project, the Minnesota Land Trust continued to work with landowners throughout the greater metropolitan area to permanently protect lands that are key components of Minnesota's remaining natural areas in the region. Eight perpetual conservation easements were completed that collectively protect 765 acres of land and more than 13,000 feet of shoreline. Three easements were purchased, and the remaining five easements were donated. While two of the purchased easements used both 2009 and 2010 ENRTF funding, we are reporting the accomplishments as part of our 2009 report. We will not report these acres in future 2010 reports to avoid double-counting. All eight projects represent unique opportunities to protect high quality natural habitat, riparian areas, and to build upon prior land protection work by the Land Trust at several priority sites. The specific project sites of the conservation easements include:

  • 45 acres, including 1,095 feet of shoreline, along Deer Lake in Anoka County (purchased using both ML 2009 and ML 2010 ENRTF appropriations);
  • 148 acres, including 2,527 feet of shoreline, along Elk River in Sherburne County (donated);
  • 44 acres, including 3,065 feet of shoreline, on Kingswood Pond in Hennepin County (purchased using both ML 2009 and ML 2010 ENRTF appropriations);
  • 157 acres near Hardwood Creek in Washington County (donated);
  • 5 acres in Scandia in Washington County (donated);
  • 126 acres near the headwaters of Valley Creek in Washington County (donated);
  • 39 acres adjacent to Wild River State Park in Chisago County (purchased using ML 2009 ENRTF appropriation only);
  • 201 acres near Baypoint Park in Goodhue County (donated).


Additionally, the Land Trust prepared baseline property reports for each easement, detailing the condition of the property for future monitoring and enforcement. To fund this required perpetual obligation, the Land Trust dedicated ENRTF and other funds to its segregated Stewardship and Enforcement Fund for all completed projects. We estimated the anticipated annual expenses of each project and the investment needed to generate annual income sufficient to cover these expenses in perpetuity - all in accordance with our internal policies and procedures as approved by LCCMR. We will report to LCCMR annually on the status of the Stewardship and Enforcement Fund and the easements acquired with funds from this grant.

Values are known for only five of the eight easements acquired, and this value totals $854,500, with a known donated value of $413,500. The cost to the State of Minnesota to complete these projects was just over $326 per acre.

Cumulatively, across phases I-V of the Metro Corridors program, the Land Trust has protected 3,298 acres of critical habitat and more than 75,000 feet of shoreline, at a cost to the State of $520 per acre.

The Minnesota Land Trust's work on this project continues to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of working with conservation easements to protect natural and scenic resources within developed and developing areas, as the cost to the State was well below the cost to purchase land in the Twin Cities region. This grant continued to generate interest among landowners, and therefore, ongoing funding will be important to sustained success. Additionally, our experiences during this phase of the grant continue to indicate that funds to purchase easements, as opposed to obtaining donated easements, will be necessary in the future as work becomes more targeted, selective, and focused on building complexes of protected land.

Project Results Use and Dissemination
The Minnesota Land Trust disseminated information about the specific land protection projects completed under this grant though our newsletter, email updates, web site, and press releases. The Land Trust also shared information about conservation easements generally and our experience with our partner organizations, other easement holders, local communities, as well as policy makers including members of the LCCMR and L-SOHC.

Project Details
Project Manager
First Name
Sarah
Last Name
Strommen
Organization Name
Minnesota Land Trust
Street Address
2356 University Ave W, Ste 240
City
St. Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55114
Phone
651-647-9590
Email
sstrommen@mnland.org