Trade Lands

Conservation Trade Lands

Working with landowners to creatively protect the most land for the benefit of the most people

Conservation Land for Sale!


The beach on a Grand Marais property currently for sale

It can be hard to say “no” to someone’s heartfelt request that we help protect their family land, but sometimes the truth is that we simply lack the resources to care for a property–it’s a problem that we refer to as “Land Rich, Cash Poor” in our office. With so many projects coming our way, we’ve set a strategic direction and have conservation priorities that encompass community need, ecosystem quality, protecting water resources, and whether the property protects any rare, threatened, or endangered species or habitats (among other things). Often times, we have to say no in particular to small parcels that have buildings on them because, well, cabins can take a lot of extra resources we may not have.


A beautiful section of the healthy forest on the Grand Marais property currently for sale

There is another, non-traditional option for protecting these properties, though–our trade lands program. 

The concept of our trade lands program is simple: a donor gifts a parcel of land with both conservation and real estate value to the UPLC, and we sell that property to a conservation-minded buyer.

The buyer enjoys and cares for the property and we can then use that income to protect and restore other lands across the UP that better fit our strategic direction or that have a more urgent need for protection. Sometimes, the land that we are selling will have a Conservation Easement already on it–meaning that the buyer is legally bound to protect the conservation values of the land, forever. Buyers can also elect to place a Conservation Easement on the property at the time of purchase.


Conservation Land for Sale!

 The view of the shore of Lake Superior, looking down the shore from the Grand Marais property currently for sale