The land restricted by an easement is still considered private land and the landowner is responsible for management and maintenance, the same way a landowner without an easement would be.
However, the County has now invested public funds to protect the property and is willing to provide additional public funds to assist the landowner with management and maintenance.
Natural Resources Management Plans
For all natural area easements, a Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP) is developed by the County and jointly approved by the landowner and the County. The NRMP includes an ecological assessment of the easement, recommended plant communities and restoration targets, and prioritized implementation activities.
The easement area must be managed in accordance with the NRMP.
Landowners with conservation easements are eligible for County assistance to restore and enhance their easement areas. Landowners work with County staff to develop a Natural Resource Management Agreement (MA) that outlines proposed management, restoration and maintenance activities, estimated costs, and roles/responsibilities.
Landowners can propose cash or in-kind match contributions toward restoration of their easement land.
In 2017, the County Board authorized the following ratios for assisting landowners with restoration:
- Shoreland Areas: County/State funds provide up to 90 percent – Landowners provide at least 10 percent
- Upland Areas: County/State funds provide up to 75 percent – Landowners provide at least 25 percent
Annual site inspection
Dakota County monitors conservation easements by completing an annual site inspection or contracts with other agencies to monitor the easement on the County's behalf.