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Easement Across State-Owned Land Managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may issue an easement to cross state-owned lands for the purpose of constructing and maintaining roads.

Agency contact information:

Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota Department of
500 Lafayette Rd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-6157 | (888) 646-6367 | (651) 296-5484 (TTY) | (800) 657-3929 (TTY)
Lands and Minerals Division
Assistant Director
500 Lafayette Rd., Box 45, St. Paul, MN 55155-4045 | (651) 259-5959
(651) 297-3517 (fax)


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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages the state's natural resources. Hunting, fishing, state forests and parks, lakes, rivers and streams, boating and water safety, trails, snowmobiling, skiing, education, enforcement, wildlife management, lands and minerals are managed by the DNR.


Minn. Stats. 84.63


Application for Easement Across State Lands and Instructions for Completing Application are available on the MN Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) website, Lands & Minerals section section, at Road crossing easements.

Regional staff contacts:

Cindy Buttleman
Region 1, Northwest (218) 308-2627  

Joe Rokala 

Region 2 Northeast (218) 999-7894

Trina Zieman
Region 3, Central (651) 259-5792

Bob Hobart
Region 4, South (507) 359-6071 


The DNR may issue an easement to cross state-owned lands for the purpose of constructing and maintaining roads. However, the DNR is not required to issue easements upon request. Also, department staff often request applicants to realign proposed easements to minimize impacts.


There are three fees:

1) An application fee of $2,000 to cover the cost of reviewing the application and preparing the easement.

2) An easement fee that is payment for the market value of the easement.

3) A monitoring fee to cover reasonable costs for monitoring construction of the road and preparing special terms and conditions of the easement.

Effective July 1, 2014, a county regional railroad authority is exempt from all fees for trail easements on state-owned lands.

Period of Issuance:

Easements may be temporary, permanent, or for a specified term.

Length of Determination Process:

Several weeks. Process will take an additional 3-6 months if lands acquired with federal aid.

Other Pertinent Information:

See Minn. Stat. § 85.015, subd. 1(b) for trail crossing easements to adjacent landowners.

See Minn. Stat. § 84.633  that authorizes the DNR to convey a road easement across state land in exchange for a road easement to access property owned by a government unit or private party. Exchanges are limited to existing access corridors.