Nature Conservancy buys 2,110 acres in heart of Superior National Forest

More than 2,000 acres of private land within the Superior National Forest will remain undeveloped under a real estate deal announced by the Nature Conservancy.

The 2,110 acres of private land is surrounded by national forest land and includes six wild lakes, 3 miles of trout streams, 972 acres of wetlands and tracts of old-growth white spruce and white cedar.

It’s also near, but not inside, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which means it could have been sold to developers for recreational cabins or other development.

The land, about 15 miles west of Tofte in Cook County, Minnesota is part of the Temperance River watershed that flows into Lake Superior.

Mike Freed, a retired forestry professor who lives in Minnesota, bought the land in 1994 when a land development company listed it for sale as sites for multiple new cabins. Freed agreed to sell it to the Nature Conservancy at a discount below market value to keep it wild.

“This area is very important to the psyche and the emotional needs of a lot of people in Minnesota,’’ Freed said in a statement announcing the sale. “I’ve been privileged to take care of this land and I want to pass it onto someone who can continue to care for it.”

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