Pine Island agreement creates permanent wildlife habitatby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, MInn. — The owners of 85 acres on Pine Island in Lake Vermilion have agreed not to divide or develop their land, which will create permanent habitat for fish, orchids, and old-growth pines near the newest Minnesota State Park.
The Minnesota Land Trust has negotiated a conservation easement with the owners of 85 acres on Pine Island in Lake Vermilion. The land remains private, but the owners have agreed not to divide or develop the land.
Walter Abramson, director of development and communication for the Minnesota Land Trust, said Lake Vermilion is a prime fishing lake and anglers will be among the beneficiaries of the easement.
"Anglers are always casting a lure up against the shore, and with waters being publicly owned, gives them all this undisturbed shoreline to fish against, Abramson said. "Without the easement this could potentially have been split into several cabin sites, with docks boats and diminishment of all the fish spawning areas."
The parcel is adjacent to another parcel that is already protected by a conservation easement, and a third that is about to be, Abramson said. That creates a large block of protected land on Pine Island.
"Nearly all of the shoreline on the eastern end and all of the interior forest habitat," he said. "Great thing for animals and great thing for passers-by."
Lake Vermilion State Park so far has two day-use areas, including a hiking trail from the adjacent Soudan Underground Mine State Park.