Forest Certification

Performance Area: Natural Lands

Acres of state-administered lands approved for forest certification


Why Is This Important?

Third-party Forest Certification recognizes sustainable and responsible forest management. Consumers can be confident that products displaying a forest certification logo were grown, harvested and produced in a sustainable manner. In the U.S., the two major internationally recognized Forest Certification systems are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

Meeting the requirements for certification has improved the DNR’s forest management practices, interdisciplinary coordination processes, and stakeholder support. Certification has also increased the competitiveness of Minnesota’s forest products industry. Maintaining Forest Certification demonstrates the DNR’s dedication to sustainable and responsible forest management.


What Is DNR Doing?

Beginning in 1997, the DNR and the Aitkin County Land Department sought Forest Certification for 378,000 acres of state and county-administered forestlands in Aitkin County. These were the first public forest lands to be certified in the United States.

Support for Forest Certification quickly grew. In response to market demand and the Governor’s Task Force Report on the Competitiveness of Minnesota’s Primary Forest Products Industry, the DNR obtained dual (FSC & SFI) certification on 4.8 million acres of DNR Forestry and Fish and Wildlife-administered lands in the forested region of the state in 2005.

Forest Certification remains a department priority. The DNR successfully completed another five year re-assessment in 2015 and continues to have 4.97 million acres under the SFI and FSC certificates.


Target: Maintain DNR’s dual forest certification on 4.97 million acres of state-administered forest lands.

In order to maintain certification, DNR must adapt and/or adjust policies and procedures to maintain alignment to certification standards. These adjustments are identified during internal program reviews and annual external audits and are outlined in Corrective Action Requests (CAR), Opportunities for Improvement (OFI), or Observations (OBS). As improvements are made to correct identified issues, DNR fine tunes its management to ensure the sustainability of Minnesota’s forest resources.