Gilbert Lake AMA Addition
In 2020, The Trust for Public Land protected 65 acres on Gilbert Lake adjacent to the Mississippi River as part of its ongoing Mississippi Headwaters Program. This land will be managed as an addition to the Gilbert Lake Aquatic Management Area (AMA) and consists of mixed pine and hardwood forest with over 1,000 feet of shoreline. It protects an important crappie and sunfish spawning area and provides excellent aquatic and wildlife habitat, as well as substantial water quality benefits. The existing AMA receives significant use and this addition is strongly supported by local residents and the Gilbert Lake Association, and was unanimously approved by the County Board. The addition improves access to the existing AMA and connects it to the public lake access just to the east of the property. The protected land also borders the Paul Bunyan Trail and will now allow people using the trail to walk down to Gilbert Lake. The addition provides outstanding public recreational opportunities for fishing, hunting, hiking, and wildlife observation. In particular, it provides excellent fishing opportunities for those who may not be able to afford a boat.
The acquisition was funded by the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Trust for Public Land helped lead the campaign to establish the Outdoor Heritage Fund as part of the 2008 Legacy Referendum that provides dedicated sales tax funding for the environment.