The nonprofit Conservation Fund has just acquired 72,440 acres of land across 12 northern Minnesota counties. The land will be permanently preserved as undeveloped for wildlife habitat, public recreation and sustainable timber harvest, while also protecting water quality. The land was purchased from Spokane Washington based PotlatchDeltic who had owned the land for decades and used it to supply its papermills and lumber mills. According to a spokesperson for PotlatchDeltic, the sale liquidates the last land holdings of what was once Minnesota’s largest single private landowner. Potlatch, before it was PotlatchDeltic, once owned 330,000 acres of land across northern counties to provide trees for its mills. More than half Potlatch’s original Minnesota land holdings have been sold to either The Conservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy or the Trust for Public Land for conservation purposes. The sale will have no impact on PotlatchDeltic last remaining facility, a sawmill in Bemidji.
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Huge conservation land sale closes in northern Minnesota