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Mansion owner fined for cutting protected trees

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The owner of an Eden Prairie mansion has been fined $25,000 for cutting down some protected trees.

Mitchell Coopet has agreed to pay the fine and replant 27 trees in his back yard along the Minnesota River. The Star Tribune reports it's the largest penalty assessed by the city for violating a conservation easement, which limits a property owner from making changes that might hurt the environment.

Coopet admitted cutting down 17 trees.

The nonprofit Minnesota Land Trust does annual inspections of hundreds of conservation easements statewide to make sure property owners are aware of the rules.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.