Medvecky Woods and its wildlife protected forever

Medvecky Woods is a 40-acre parcel of wetland and forest that is now protected by a conservation easement through the Outdoor Heritage Fund and Minnesota Land Trust. 

As the Twin Cities metro expands ever-outwards, more and more land that was once critical habitat for fish, plants and wildlife becomes new subdivisions, houses and roads. And that means that areas like Medvecky Woods, one of the few remaining large, ecologically intact and functional landscapes just north of the metro area, is coming under threat from new development.

Having seen other natural areas around the metro paved over, local resident Tom DeCorsey wanted to avoid the same fate for his property. DeCorsey has hunted on a parcel of land in Medvecky Woods for years, and this week signed a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust to protect the landscape he loves forever. 

Funded by the Outdoor Heritage Fund and the Minnesota Land Trust members, this project permanently protects 40 acres of wetland and forest from development, and connects to another 80-acre parcel which is already protected by a conservation easement. 

In addition, these properties are just north of the University of Minnesota’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, creating an even larger complex of protected land and more functional wildlife habitat. 

“This property is part of a really unique landscape,” says Nick Bancks of the Minnesota Land Trust. “It’s host to a number of rare plant and animal species, and is in the headwaters of Cedar Creek, which is an important warm water fishery to the Rum River.” 

The Minnesota Land Trust worked closely with the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District to identify potential properties in the area with significant conservation impact, like this one.

While his children don’t hunt, DeCorsey wants to make sure that the land stays in its natural state for future generations to enjoy just as he has. And thanks to a permanent conservation easement by the Minnesota Land Trust, it will.

“One of the reasons that the Twin Cities metro area often is cited as having such a high quality of life is due in part to the relatively wild lands still intact within the metro area. But these spaces need good stewards to endure into the future,” says Kris Larson, Minnesota Land Trust Executive Director. “Tom has led an extraordinary life, and we’re so thankful that he has taken the extraordinary step to protect this natural gem.”

This permanent conservation easement was made possible thanks to the members of the Minnesota Land Trust and with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC).

The Minnesota Land Trust is a membership-based nonprofit organization. 

 Its mission is to protect and restore Minnesota’s most vital natural lands in order to provide wildlife habitat, clean water, outdoor experiences and scenic beauty for generations to come. 

 The organization has completed 531 conservation projects statewide, permanently protecting over 50,000 acres of natural and scenic land and over a million feet of fragile shoreline.

 A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or other qualified agency that permanently limits certain uses of land in order to protect its conservation values. 

 Landowners continue to own and enjoy the land and pay property taxes. 

 Once created, the conservation easement is binding on all future owners of the property. 

 More information can be found at www.mnland.org.

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