When the Farmland and Natural Areas Program began in 2003, the county's land protection goal was to protect 5,000 to 10,000 acres. To date, the county protects 11,425 acres. Several new projects are in varying stages of completion. See the most recent
Land Conservation Map Summary.
As of April 2019, the county completed 130 land protection projects, including :
- 68 permanent agricultural conservation easements, totaling 7,758 acres
- 41 natural area conservation easements, totaling 1,699 acres
- 21 fee acquisition projects with other public entities, totaling 1,968 acres
The county has spent $20.62 million in county funds (25 percent), leveraged $34.74 million in non-county funds (43 percent) and received $26.28 million in landowner donations (32 percent) to protect these lands.
Other sources of non-county funding include the Friends of the Mississippi River and significant landowner donations of easement value.
Examples of some of the completed natural area protection projects are: