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Conservation Lands

Conservation lands provide habitat for Minnesota flora and fauna as well as dedicated space for recreation. This indicator encompasses a full range of land conservation categories, such as: 

  • state-administered forest lands 
  • wildlife management areas
  • state parks 
  • conservation easements
  • national wildlife refuges
  • national forests
  • county tax-forfeit lands, city, county and regional parks
  • federal and state land retirement programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, and other habitat conservation programs. 

The total acres of conservation lands increased about 8% between 2002 and 2011, but the trends differ by geographic region.  For instance, acres of conservation lands in the prairie region are decreasing, principally due to the loss of lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.  In contrast, conservation acres in the forested region are increasing, principally due to the establishment of large conservation easements on private forest lands. Updated data for this indicator is expected in 2016. 

This document (.xlsx) provides the indicator data in table format.

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