Landowners invited to conserve wetlands
The Minnesota Land Trust is looking for landowners who want to conserve their wetlands in Becker, Douglas, Grant, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Otter Tail, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Pope and Todd counties.
The Minnesota Land Trust is working to combat wetland loss with its new Wetland Habitat Protection Program. The program uses a market-based and cost-effective approach to acquire conservation easements from private landowners in the Prairie and Prairie-Forest transition areas in Central Minnesota.
A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or other qualified agency that permanently limits certain uses of land in order to protect its conservation values. Landowners continue to own and enjoy the land and pay property taxes.
Landowners who are selected in the program will receive funding for their participation thanks to grants from the Outdoor Heritage Fund and the McKnight Foundation.
The Minnesota Land Trust has already completed seven conservation projects. Additional funds are now available for new potential projects; applications are being accepted for the next round until Thursday, November 5.
Wetlands slow moving water systems to improve water quality, help control flooding, reduce soil erosion and act as a buffer against droughts. They also provide critical nesting and feeding habitat to many species and are a distinct feature of the Minnesota landscape.
Wetlands rival tropical rainforests and coral reefs in their level of biodiversity and productivity; though they cover only 5 percent of the land area in the lower 48, wetlands contain almost 31 percent of all plant species and as much as 50 percent of all bird species in the same area.