Lands and Realty Management Program


The Forest Service Lands and Realty Management Program secures and protects the American public's rights, title, value, and interests in its national forests and grasslands and authorizes a varety of uses on those lands to meet the needs of present and future generations.  Here are some examples of specific activities occurring on the Superior National Forest:

  • Purchasing land to protect critical resource areas and provide increased public recreation opportunities.  The Land and Water Conservation Fund is authorized through congressional actions.  
  • Authorizing fiber-optic lines to provide internet connections to a community
  • Exchanging and conveying lands to achieve a desired national forest landownership pattern that supports forest land and resource goals and objectives
  • Conveying administrative sites to allow the agency to realign and enhance its asset portfolio
  • Surveying national forest boundaries to identify and protect private and public lands
  • Determining the market value of lands purchased, exchanged, or conveyed
  • Authorizing a right-of-way for a road to a private home within the forest
  • Accepting donations of land to protect archeological or historical sites
  • Maintaining records of national forest land areas, land transactions, land status, permitted uses, and easements
  • Securing public road and trail access to existing national forest system lands

Potential Land Acquisitions:

If you are interested in selling or exchanging land to the Superior National Forest, please write a letter to one of the following District Rangers located closest to your property.The letter should include: a) landowner name and contact information, b) legal description(s) of the property, c) maps of the property locations, d) explanation of why acquiring the property would be in the public interest and meet Forest Plan priorities.

Gunflint Ranger District
Nancy Larson, District Ranger
2020 W. Highway 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
(218) 387-1750 Voice and TTY

Kawishiwi Ranger District
Douglas Smith, District Ranger
1393 Highway 169, Ely, MN 55731
(218) 365-7600; (218) 365-7602 TTY

LaCroix Ranger District
Andrew Johnson, District Ranger
320 N. Highway 53, Cook, MN 55723
(218) 666-0020 Voice and TTY

Laurentian Ranger District
Terry Gallagher, District Ranger
318 Forestry Road, Aurora, MN 55705
(218) 229-8800 Voice and TTY

Tofte Ranger District
Kurt Steele, District Ranger
7355 West Hwy 61

P.O. Box 2159, Tofte, MN 55615
(218) 663-8060 Voice and TTY

The District Ranger will evaluate whether the land would benefit the public as part of Superior National Forest. If the property meets the necessary criteria for land acquisition, the District Ranger can discuss the land adjustment process with you. 

Please note that it can take five to ten years to complete a land transaction with the Forest Service.  Acquisitions are dependent upon funding as well as successful due diligence related to title conditions and environmental site assessments.  Funding for land acquisition comes from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program, derived from fees paid by companies drilling offshore for oil and gas.  These funds are used to create a resilient and productive system of forests and grasslands that provide economic and environmental stability to communities across America.  Funding is limited and competition is strong from many worthwhile projects across the nation. 

The Superior National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan supports land adjustments to achieve a landownership pattern “sufficient to protect resource values and interests, improve management effectiveness, eliminate conflicts, and reduce the costs of administering landlines and managing resources.” The Forest Plan prioritizes land needed 1) for habitat for federally listed endangered, threatened, proposed, or candidate species;  2) to protect significant historical and cultural resources; and 3) to protect and manage administrative or Congressionally designated, unique, proposed, or recommended areas, such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  (See Forest Plan, p. 2-51.).

For additional information, please visit: