Aerial Photo of a Forest

conservation buyers program

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conservation buyers program

conservation buyers program

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


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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 being “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.

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The program

The concept of the program is simple: a donor gifts a parcel of land with both conservation and real estate value to the UPLC with the intent for it to be put into this program, and we sell that property to a conservation-minded buyer with a conservation easement on it.

The buyer enjoys and cares for the property, the buyer is legally bound to protect the conservation values of the land forever, and we check up to ensure that they’re protecting it; we can then use that income to purchase, steward, and restore other lands across the UP that better fit our strategic direction and the community’s needs. Sometimes, the land that we are selling will have a Conservation Easement already on it, or buyers can donate a Conservation Easement on the property at the time of purchase.

We will never place a donated land into the Conservation Buyers Program if it is not the expressed intent of the donor for us to do so.

available land

Grand Marais property 

UPLC is selling a 4.27-acre parcel in Grand Marais, Michigan over which we also hold a Conservation Easement.* This means that the 175 feet of Lake Superior waterfront and 350 feet of the Sucker River will be protected forever!  This property contains a fragile and rare Great Lakes Wooded Dune-and-Swale ecosystem, which is rapidly disappearing nationally due to over-development and irresponsible use. The cobbled beach also hosts endangered Piping Plovers , which have been known to nest on the property, and every year hundreds of other shorebirds visit during their migration or settle in every summer. This property does not currently have a building on it; however, the easement allows for the development of a camp area for living or enjoying as a vacation getaway.

There are currently no buildings on the property, but there is a great site ready for you to build your dream home, or cluster of buildings for when the whole family comes to visit. Just a few miles east of the charming shoreline village of Grand Marais and an easy drive to either Marquette or the Mackinac Bridge, it’s hard to beat this idyllic site for recreation, family life, retirement, or vacation – especially since you’ll have the knowledge that you’re protecting land today for life tomorrow simply by enjoying your property.

If you are interested in visiting the property, UPLC will coordinate viewings as needed.

Asking price: $149,000.00; the low cost is due to the easement’s restrictions, which restrict development on certain parts of the property while still maintaining a large building envelope. Please contact us for details about the property and conservation easement.

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The beach on the Grand Marais property

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Another view of the beach

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

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This property contains a fragile and rare Great Lakes Wooded Dune-and-Swale ecosystem

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The cobbled beach also hosts endangered Piping Plovers , which have been known to nest on the property

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A beautiful section of the healthy forest on the Grand Marais property