The Nature Conservancy has purchased more than 3,000 forested acres in two northern Minnesota counties.
The 24 separate parcels in Koochiching and Itasca counties were once owned by paper company Boise-Cascade.
Nature Conservancy Field Manager Art Norton said the land purchase will help prevent forest fragmentation, where forests get sliced into small parcels held by private individuals.
Norton said the parcels are mostly isolated, and adjacent to public land.
"They're not your typical good, developable land. And if they had been sold for hunting land, they really would have represented some significant holes in our checkerboard quilt of forest land ownership," Norton said.
Norton said the conservancy will pay taxes on the land, and will manage the parcels for timber production, wildlife habitat, and public recreation.