Nonprofit Preserves 2,000 Acres in Superior National Forest

TOFTE, Minn. (AP) — More than 2,000 acres of private land deep in the heart of the Superior National Forest will remain undeveloped.

The nonprofit Nature Conservancy said it purchased the land this week from retired forestry professor Mike Freed.

The land near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Tofte in Cook County includes six wilderness lakes and 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of trout streams. The land also includes hundreds of acres of untouched bogs and fens and old-growth pines.

“On the shorelines, you can still see the rare bog plants and golden tamarack trees with that quiet, muted golden-orange of the larch needles in the fall,” Freed said. “It’s beautiful.”

Freed, who grew up in Minnesota, bought the land in the 1990s to save it from development.

“These lakes will forever remain a gift to the people of Minnesota,” he said.

The purchase ensures that the forest won’t be fragmented or be divided up in a way that would cut off moose, wolves, or any other animals from needed habitat, said Meredith Cornett, director of conservation science for the Nature Conservancy, the Star Tribune reported.

“When we think about how much species move, we really need to make sure these connectors are in place so that movement is even possible; otherwise we risk losing some of them,” Cornett said.

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