Managing Minnesota’s Forests
Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources is the state’s largest land manager. Its Forestry Division manages 4.5 million acres of land, including 58 state forests that cover 3.1 million acres. Another 720,000 acres of forest land is also administered by the DNR. In addition, the DNR helps private forest land owners create and follow forest stewardship plans with a goal of having 2.5 million acres of privately managed (non-industrial) land following such plans.
Harvesting timber is one way to maintain healthy forests and wildlife habitat and supply materials to the forest product industry. The DNR evaluates about 50,000 acres of forests and offers hundreds of thousands of cords of wood for sale each year. Forest stewardship plans for private forest land owners help by improving wildlife, maintaining water quality, and applying sustainable timber harvesting. The DNR also recommends forestry management, research, and outreach activities to government officials and is in charge of maintaining forest roads and managing wildfires in the state.