TPL Donates Lake Superior Land (MN)

Cook County, MN, 1/14/03 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced today the donation of 160 acres of land along the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to become the state’s newest Scientific and Natural Area. This transaction marks the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of conservation transactions stemming from land donated by Consolidated Papers, Inc.

Located on the Myhr Creek Ridge east of Grand Marais, the property provides sweeping vistas along Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior and contains a rare occurrence of upland black spruce/jack pine natural community, unique in the Minnesota’s North Shore ecological landscape.

Because of its biological significance and location adjacent to other similar state lands, the Minnesota Scientific and Naturals Areas program will own and manage of the parcel.

“The North Shore is a special place to the people of Minnesota,” notes Susan Schmidt, Minnesota Director of the Trust for Public Land. “Because this new Scientific and Natural Area is important to the North Shore community, it is important to the state. In this instance, we were in a position to donate the land.”

“Our ability to meet our mission at the DNR is strengthened through partnerships like this,” adds Bob Djupstrom of the DNR. “We’re excited to add this property to the Scientific and Natural Areas program.”

In 1989, the Trust for Public Land became the largest private landowner in Cook County in Northern Minnesota when it accepted the donation of approximately 34,600 acres of land from Consolidated Papers, Inc. By accepting the donation, TPL made a commitment not only to providing more public access and protection for significant and sensitive lands, but also to address concerns expressed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners regarding potential loss of tax revenue to the county.

Over the last 14 years, working in partnership with the United States Forest Service, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Parks and Trails Association, the Superior Hiking Trail Association, city and county officials and individual landowners, TPL identified and protected critical lands while selling other, less sensitive properties on the private market.

TPL’s work with the Consolidated Paper lands include:

  • Conveyance of 14,826 acres to the Superior National Forest,
  • Donation of a dramatic 40 acre overlook along with 3.5 miles of permanent trail easements to the Lake Superior Hiking Trail Association
  • Conveyance of 2 3/4 miles of permanent trail easement to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as part of a multi-purpose trail running through Cook County.
  • Protection of 410 acres on Devilfish Lake.
  • Donation of public landing and fishing easements on No Name and Devilfish Lakes
  • Donation of easements for permanent protection of sections of snowmobile trails for Lutsen Trailbreakers and for the Lutsen cross-country ski trail.
  • Addition of 480 acres on Eagle Mountain to the Lutsen Scientific and Natural Area.
  • Sales to private owners

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural and historic resources for future generations. Nationwide, the Trust for Public Land has helped conserve more than a million acres valued at over $2 billion. In Minnesota, the Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 23,000 acres of land. Recent highlights include expansion of Stearns County Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, assistance to the city of Grand Marais protect their historic Harbor Park; and the acquisition of land for the future Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in St. Paul. TPL is actively working around Minnesota to provide more parks and green space in communities facing the pressures of growth.