Land Conservation Program
The Mississippi River is an ecological resource of international significance. In the Twin Cities, the rivers scenic bluffs, floodplains, prairies and shorelands are disappearing quickly as new development displaces natural landscapes. Protecting land that is ecologically linked to the Mississippi River and its important tributaries is one of the strategies that Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) uses to pursue its goal of improving the portion of this great river that is within the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.
FMR, through its Land Conservation Program, works with public and private landowners, local governments and concerned citizens to protect and restore critical lands by providing planning, land protection and natural resources restoration services. Our many restoration and conservation initiatives reflect the urgency of protecting the rivers ecological functions.
FMR approaches land conservation in a very systematic way. The first step is to identify natural areas and other important lands that can contribute to a healthy, diverse and dynamic river ecosystem. After gaining a better understanding of what land is important for us to focus on, we reach out to the landowner, public or private, to engage them in a discussion about their property and to offer our assistance in achieving their protection or habitat improvement goals.
If a landowner is interested in permanently protecting their property, we assist them in exploring what the options are and often guide them and their protection project through until the end. We have partnered with many landowners and conservation partners to protect thousands of acres of land; Land that is critical to the health of the river.
A third and vitally important component of our program is to assist landowners in restoring or enhancing natural communities on their property. We have conducted restoration and enhancement activities on over one thousand acres of land. Land that now contains habitat where little existed before or where once degraded habitat has been greatly improved.