Updated: 2:26 p.m.
Hundreds of acres of woods and wetlands, including three miles of St. Croix riverfront, join preserved public land in an east central state forest, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Trust for Public Land announced Tuesday.
The national nonprofit bought the land from Xcel Energy and donated it to the state DNR.
The Trust for Public Land's Minnesota state director Susan Schmidt said it’s “a really huge win for Minnesotans and for the environment, for habitats and for lands or water quality on the St. Croix River.”
The land in the Chengwatana State Forest will be open to hikers, but not accessible to off-highway vehicle access. The state forest is located in Pine and Chisago counties near Pine City. The forest currently has 15 miles of off-highway vehicle trails and a stretch of the Matthew Lourey State Trail.
The Trust bought the land using a grant from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, supported by sales taxes. The TPL says it has protected millions of acres and created public parks across the U.S.
In Minnesota, the TPL gave 235 acres of land to the state in the Mississippi River headwaters region near Crosby several years ago.
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