Long-Term Land Protection
Long-term protection of land for conservation purposes is extremely controversial in North Dakota. Based on a variety of public policy misunderstandings and political overreaction, our state has the most restrictive laws in the nation on conservation, requiring lengthy public hearing and advisory processes and ultimately gubernatorial approval for land acquisition. This is the case even though all offers by private landowners to sell land for conservation are voluntary.
Acquisition - NDNRT
The Trust does not purchase or manage land, but rather facilitates acquisitions with multiple partners. Recent projects include:
Wind related voluntary conservation delivery
Many wind energy projects in North Dakota are cited in the Coteau region, in the heart of the Central Flyway for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and water birds. Of particular concern are impacts of wind tower placement on migratory habitat for the endangered Whooping Crane. Some wind energy projects result in voluntary conservation measure being funded within the 75th percentile of the Whooping Crane migration corridor (click here to view corridor map), and the Trust has entered into agreements to deliver those conservation measures. To date, the Trust has delivered conservation projects in Kidder, Wells and Burleigh Counties. These projects have resulted in land held in public ownership providing Whooping Crane stopover habitat, general wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities.
Acquisition - USFWS
The USFWS occasionally purchases land from willing sellers to add to the National Wildlife Refuge System. Purchased land usually ends up as a Waterfowl Production Area, open to public hunting and general outdoor recreation. Click here to visit US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Conservation easements are the voluntary acquisition of a portion of the property rights (through payment, landowner donation, or a combination of both), usually to restrict the conversion of wetlands and grassland or to restrict real estate development and keep land in its natural state and to protect its agricultural use.
USFWS Permanent Easements
The US Fish and Wildlife Service purchases voluntary, permanent conservation easements to protect wetlands and grasslands. Interest in permanent wetland/grassland easements is strong, with many landowners on the waiting list. Click here to visit US Fish & Wildlife Service.