DNR Timber Sales

Performance Area: Natural Lands

Cords of wood offered for sale on DNR lands


Why Is This Important?

A predictable, sustainable supply of quality wood from DNR-administered lands supports Minnesota’s forest products industry and the state’s economy.


What Is DNR Doing?

Timber harvesting is essential for maintaining forest health, improving forest productivity, enhancing wildlife habitat diversity, and reducing risk of wildfire. The DNR strives to provide a stable, quality source of wood fiber to industry, while also maintaining water quality, fostering biodiversity and providing for recreation access. At the request of Governor Dayton, and in response to increased global competition, high raw material prices, and increased demand by the forest products industry for state timber, the DNR, through an independent contractor, completed an analysis of its forest resources to adjust its sustainable timber harvest level. A variety of environmental and economic factors were considered in the analysis. The DNR used the analysis to determine that its annual sustainable timber target for the next ten years will be 870,000 cords. Recognizing the widespread eastern larch beetle infestations in tamarack and the coming damage to the ash resource from an expanding emerald ash borer population, the DNR has initiated a five-year effort to offer an additional 30,000 cords of ash and tamarack. The additional acres of ash and tamarack management is being done to ensure that those acres can be kept in a forested state post infestation. A total of 900,000 cords of timber will be offered to market from state lands through FY 2023.


Target: Meet multiple forest management objectives and provide sustainable access to 870,000 cords of wood for sale each year through FY 2029. The state will also offer an additional 30,000 cords of ash and tamarack through FY 2023.

This provides approximately one-third of Minnesota’s forest products industry’s total annual wood need.

The DNR met or exceeded its timber sale goals in most recent years. Four factors influence how much and what kind of timber the DNR offers each year:

1) The current and the desired condition of Minnesota’s forest

2) The need to provide for a wide range of social, economic, and environmental values

3) The needs of the forest products industry

4) DNR budgets and staffing levels

During forest planning, the DNR determines which stands may need management attention, primarily through some form of commercial timber harvest. The most common form of harvest removes all mature trees, allowing younger trees to become established via planting, seeding, or sprouting. In recent years, thinning of young and middle-aged stands to foster faster growth and increase wood quality has increased. The amount of timber the DNR offers from stands to be harvested varies by harvest method, timber quality and age. For FY2020 and FY2021, the DNR will offer 870,000 cords each year plus an additional 30,000 cords of ash and tamarack.