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$11M deal finalized to protect land near Brainerd

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Conservationists have finalized an $11 million deal that would protect nearly 2,000 acres of land along the Mississippi River near Brainerd, land that is home to bald eagles, Blandings turtles and a designated trout stream, the Associated Press reports.

The state Legislature approved using $11 million of state Legacy Amendment funds to buy the stretch of land, which includes three miles of riverfront, from longtime owner Potlatch Corporation. The Crow Wing County board will take ownership of it, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Anglers for Habitat, Cuyuna Lakes Trail Association, Delta Waterfowl (Brainerd Chapter) and The Trust for Public Land.

The group has worked for 10 years on the project to protect the area, which the organization calls a "treasured recreation area" and habitat for threatened species. The Trust has more info about the deal here.

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