Minnesota Forest Legacy Grant Program

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Minnesota: Aitkin County, Anoka County, Cass County, Crow Wing County, Itasca County Show all

Location of residency: Minnesota

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The Minnesota Forest Legacy Program protects environmentally important private forests threatened by conversion to nonforest uses. Landowners apply to participate in the program. If they are accepted, federal funds and local matching funds are used to purchase development rights and conservation easements to keep these forests intact and continuing to provide forest benefits.

The state of Minnesota has identified 14 candidate Forest Legacy Areas containing important forests in need of protection. Several candidate Forest Legacy Areas have been activated by going through a public review process.


The Minnesota Forest Legacy Program uses federal and/or state funds to purchase permanent conservation easements that restrict development and other uses of private property in order to keep targeted forested areas intact and able to provide important forest benefits. The landowner retains ownership and can continue forest uses such as timber management, recreation, hunting, and hiking. All easements are perpetual, and any new owner is bound by the terms of the easement.

Why participate?

This program is geared to landowners who would like to ensure that forests on their property are protected from development. The landowner chooses whether to participate. Participating landowners choose which parts of their property are included. Each landowner also chooses whether to accept a cash payment or donate all or some of the appraised value of a conservation easement. Traditional forest uses of the property can continue under the guidance of a Forest Stewardship Plan.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Landowners interested in conserving their forests are invited to participate in the Minnesota Forest Legacy Program.
  • What land is eligible?
    • To participate in the Minnesota Forest Legacy Program, land must: 
      • be within one of Minnesota's active Forest Legacy Areas.
        • These areas include Brainerd Lakes/Walker, Lower St. Croix, North Duluth, Rice County Big Woods, Grand Rapids, Wabasha Blufflands, and Koochiching legacy areas. 
      • be at least 20 acres and at least 90 percent forested or planned to be forested.
        • Any type of forest land—whether natural or planted is eligible.
  • Landowners with eligible land are encouraged to obtain a Forest Stewardship Plan if the land to be enrolled does not have a current Forest Stewardship Plan.
  • Equal opportunity to participate and benefit from programs of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is available to all individuals regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, age, sexual orientation, membership or activity in a local commission, or disability.