State Land Acquisition Consolidation

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$500,000
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient
MN DNR
Recipient Type
State Government
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2008
End Date
June 2011
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2008, Chp. 367, Sec. 2, Subd. 03g
Appropriation Language

$500,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to consolidate state land ownership through acquisition and sale to reduce forest fragmentation and enhance management efficiency. A list of proposed fee title and easement acquisitions must be provided as part of the required work program. All funding for conservation easements must include a long-term stewardship plan and funding for monitoring and enforcing the agreement. Minnesota Statutes, sections 94.16 and 94.165, apply to the proceeds from the sale of land. For this appropriation, the Department of Natural Resources must establish a separate revolving account under Minnesota Statutes, section 94.165, for the use and accounting of trust fund money. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2011, at which time the project must be completed and final products delivered, unless an earlier date is specified in the work program.

2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$500,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Measurable Outcome(s)

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

Project Overview

Overall Project Outcome and Results
The goal of a land consolidation revolving fund was, and is, to enable Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase lands of significant natural resource value adjacent to, or imbedded within, lands that are already managed by public agencies. Many of these purchases are likely to be private, industrial forest lands that would otherwise be subdivided and sold for development. At the same time, the DNR would sell parcels of state-owned land that are isolated and difficult to manage from a resource or public benefit standpoint. The proceeds from the sale of these parcels would go back into the land consolidation revolving fund. By strategically purchasing and selling parcels through this fund, the state could achieve a net gain from both a natural resource and economic perspective.

The appropriation for this project enabled DNR to purchase five parcels in Koochiching County and two parcels in Itasca County, totaling 800 acres. These were key acquisitions as each one was selected because it either was a sole private parcel imbedded in tens of thousands of acres of public ownership, or it was adjacent to DNR managed lands and would enhance that management and provide natural resource benefits. Development or subdivision of these parcels would create fragmentation and potentially hinder forest management activities on adjacent lands.

On the sale side, results were not as successful. DNR identified six parcels in the project area for potential sale, but did not succeed in selling any of them. We learned from this project that the geographic scope of this project was too small. The vast majority of the land in the project area (well over 90%) is state trust fund land and the proceeds of sales from these lands must go to the corpus of the school trust fund and not the revolving account. Had the project been broadened to include some northwestern Minnesota counties, where there are significantly more acquired lands, the project would have had more success. On a positive note, DNR has statutory authority to continue the purpose of this project statewide and will do so. We will continue to provide LCCMR updates on our work in this area.

Project Results Use and Dissemination
The State Land Acquisition Consolidation project information has been disseminated to DNR staff who manage lands in the project area, as well as county land departments and county commissioners in Koochiching and Itasca counties.

As stated above, we were in regular contact with the counties. We also have communicated with third party non-profits such as The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Lands, and The Conservation Fund.

Project Details