DNR receives land donation to expand Chengwatana State Forest

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has received a land donation along the St. Croix River from the Trust for Public Land, the agency announced Thursday.

The 241-acre donation is within the Chengwatana State Forest and will be managed by the state as part of the forest, according to the DNR. The land was previously owned by Xcel Energy.

“Not only does this parcel’s high biodiversity and location along the St. Croix River make it an important piece to protect, it will provide recreational opportunities to many,” said DNR Forestry Division Director Patty Thielen. “Managing these 241 acres as part of the Chengwatana State Forest for public benefit is a perfect fit for the DNR.”

This is the final part of a two-phase land donation from the Trust for Public Land. This brings their total donation to over 700 acres.

The donated land included portions of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, which is a federally protected system of riverways in Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the DNR.

“Protecting this segment of the St. Croix watershed is critical not only for providing residents and visitors with public access to hiking, hunting, and wildlife viewing, but for ensuring water quality benefits for surrounding communities. Trust for Public Land is thrilled to continue to work with the DNR and our partners to ensure more people can get outdoors and enjoy the benefits of nature,” said Bob McGillivray, land protection director for Trust for Public Land.

The Trust for Public Land purchased the land from Xcel Energy using a grant funded by the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, according to the DNR.