Natural Lands

The Leelanau Conservancy’s mission is to “conserve the land, water, and scenic character of the Leelanau Peninsula. “ In pursuit of this mission, the Conservancy has protected over 11,000 acres of land in its first 25 years of existence. Much of this land is high quality wildlife habitat including: Lake Michigan sand dunes; coastal bluffs and beaches; wetlands that protect water quality of inland lakes and streams; farmlands and forestlands of great beauty and utility; and community open space that protects the character of small villages that dot the landscape.

Our finest resources must remain connection to the larger landscape, providing critical conservation corridors for the movement of plants and wildlife. Protecting land to maintain these connections in the face of potential fragmentation is our over-arching goal. Our goal is to protect our spectacular lakes by preserving shoreline and critical watershed lands. Wetlands, stream corridors, and other lands play an important role in maintaining the water quality of Leelanau’s lakes and streams.

The Conservancy owns some of the natural lands it has protected—natural areas such as Whaleback, Houdek Dunes and Kehl Lake for public enjoyment. But it also has worked with over 157 private landowners to protect cherished family lands via a legal agreement called a conservation easement. These private conservation easement lands are NOT open to the public.

If you would like to learn more about protecting your land, please contact our Director of Land Programs, Matt Heiman

Conservation Guidebook for Landowers–Downloadable PDF

General Timeline for Conservation Easement Projects

Steps to Donating a Conservation Easement

CE One-Page Primer 2015