top of page
LightGrayTexture.jpg

Hi, I'm Destiny Mankowski

Farm Bill Biologist II
Phone
- (320) 631-3558

Email - Dmankowski@pheasantsforever.org

StaffPhoto9.jpg

Hi, I'm Lance Chisholm

ACUB / Waterplan Coordinator
Phone
- (320) 631-3556

Email - Lance.Chisholm@morrisonswcd.org

StaffPhoto3.jpg

Conservation Easement contacts:

Easement Programs

CONSERVATION EASEMENTS are a voluntary legal agreement that involve the acquisition of limited rights in land for conservation purposes. Easements are perpetual and are an option to protect a property for future generations.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) acquires, on behalf of the state, conservation easements to permanently protect, restore and manage critical natural resources without owning the land outright. The land remains in private ownership and is not open to the public. The landowner retains responsibility for maintenance and paying applicable real estate taxes and assessments. BWSR provides statewide program coordination and administration and implementation at the local level is done by county Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs).

Landowners who offer the state a conservation easement receive a payment for the limited land use rights that are acquired. The easement is recorded on the land title with the county recorder and transfers with the land when the parcel is sold.

ARMY COMPATIBLE USE BUFFER (ACUB)

Federally funded easements are working lands easement where farming, hunting, and normal agricultural actives may continue. Funds come from the Department of Defense (DOD). These easements are within priority one and two work area around Camp Ripley. Priority one is areas closer to Camp Ripley and lands that are in higher need to be protect so training missions can continue.

In 2001 the National Guard Bureau initiated a project to address the growing concern of development and encroachment around the perimeter of Camp Ripley. In 2004 the National Guard Bureau and the State of Minnesota, acting through the Board of Soil and Water Resources (BWSR) entered in to a Cooperative Agreement to implement an Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program for Camp Ripley. Camp Ripley is a 53,000-acres regional training center hosting numerous ranges and state-of-the-art facilities to support the training requirements of military and civilian agencies.

The program is designed to minimize intensive residential and commercial development within a designated work area around Camp Ripley by purchasing the development rights through permanent conservation easements to reduce land use conflicts with military operations. Landowners are paid a one-time per acre sum to agree to leave the land open. They retain the right to use the property as they are presently, but agreeing to not plat or develop the land with more residential or commercial building sites. The program is for willing landowners only.

Morrison SWCD is working in conjunction with Camp Ripley Training Center (CRTC) and BWSR in executing conservation easements for the ACUB Program in Morrison, Crow Wing and Cass Counties.

Landowners interested in participating in the program can print, complete, and submit a Landowner Interest Form to Morrison Soil and Water Conservation District.

Each year CRTC, through a prioritization process, identifies and ranks parcels of land to be considered for possible funding for the ACUB Program.

A “Short List” of ranked landowners is developed and provided to the SWCD. The SWCD approaches landowners identified on the “Short List” for possible participation in the program as funding becomes available.

Land owner applications are received by the SWCD’s and sent to BWSR. BWSR requests funds.

Once easements are completed, SWCD’s monitor enrolled lands to ensure they meet the intent of the easement encumbered. The easement is perpetual.

LESSARD-SAMS OUTDOOR HERITAGE COUNCIL

Phase X of the CAMP RIPLEY SENTINEL LANDSCAPE ACUB PARTNERSHIP (CRSL) will utilize permanent conservation easements (BWSR RIM) to acquire 5,000-acres of high quality habitat to accomplish: PERMANENT PROTECTION of habitat corridors and buffers around public lands, PRESERVE open space within the CRSL, and conservation enhancement and restoration PRACTICES to protect soil and water quality and habitat corridor connectivity. This effort will be in coordination with the CRSL partnership and the Morrison SWCD to secure habitat corridor easements that will action the goals of the State Wildlife Action Plan, local Landscape Stewardship Plan and the CRSL Strategic Plan.

 

Phase X will permanently protect approximately 5,000-acres and fund restoration and enhancement activities that will benefit fish, game, migratory bird, and forest habitat around the Ereaux and Little Nokasippi WMA’s, Crow Wing County Forest, Lake Alexander Woods SNA, Pillsbury State Forest and the Camp Ripley State Game Refuge; all within the 5-mile radius of Camp Ripley, a priority focus area within Sentinel Landscape program area. Easement acquisition and habitat enhancement and restoration will occur in portions of Morrison, Crow Wing, and Cass County that lie within this 5-mile radius.

Easement acquisition in this area will protect and buffer river, lake, and forest habitat corridors that are critical to the general public for fishing, hunting, and recreational opportunities. These habitat corridors and complexes are critical protection priorities for the State of Minnesota, MN National Guard (MNNG) and National Guard Bureau (NGB) and its mission to sustain military training of soldiers, our local economy, the National Mississippi River Flyway, and Mississippi Headwaters Board mission.

What restrictions are included in the easement? An easement is designed to address specific resource needs and landowner desires on a specific piece of property. For the LSOHC Program, these restrictions are:

  • Cropping, haying and grazing

  • Harvesting large amounts of trees unless approved by BWSR with a forest stewardship plan

  • Building and sub-development rights

  • Mining activities

  • Placement of wells and sewage disposal systems

MISSISSIPPI HEADWATERS BOARD

In 2016, the MISSISSIPPI HEADWATERS BOARD developed a program in partnership with the Board of Water and Soil Resources and The Trust for Public Land to protect critical fish and wildlife habitat values on private land that lies on the Mississippi River, headwaters lakes and reservoirs, and contributing tributaries. The program uses Outdoor Heritage funds created from the Clean Water Land and Legacy constitutional amendment to create and expand contiguous habitat complexes of permanently protected shoreland.

 

The Headwaters of the Mississippi River are the first 400 miles of the river from its beginning in Itasca State Park passing through 8 counties to the southern Morrison County line. The river is a national treasure for its clean water and recreational opportunities.

The goal of the Program is to permanently protect high quality upland and shoreland areas along the first 400 miles of the Mississippi River by creating and expanding contiguous habitat protection corridors, providing food and shelter for wildlife and migratory waterfowl, clean water for fish, and reducing forest fragmentation.

  • Clean water habitat for fish, adjacent lands are home to 350 plus species of animals and birds, including endangered and threated species.

  • The river provides critical food and shelter for migratory waterfowl along the Mississippi River Flyway.

  • To reduce land use changes that result in fragmentation of critical habitats such as forests, shorelands, grasslands and wetlands.

What restrictions are included in the easement? An easement is designed to address specific resource needs and landowner desires on a specific piece of property. For the Mississippi Headwaters Program, these restrictions are:

  • Cropping, haying and grazing

  • Harvesting large amounts of trees unless approved by BWSR with a forest stewardship plan

  • Building and sub-development rights

  • Mining activities

  • Placement of wells and sewage disposal systems

 

Payment: The easement payment is based on the number of qualifying acres for the conservation easement. Public waters are deducted from the total acreage to be put into the easement. Areas excluded around existing buildings and/or reserved building areas are also deducted from the total easement acreage. The remaining acres are the qualifying acres eligible for a payment of 60% of the tax-assessed land value.

bottom of page