Private Forest Stewardship

Performance Area: Natural Lands

Acres covered by current woodland stewardship plans reported to the DNR


Why Is This Important?

Some 82,000 non-industrial private forest landowners each holding 20 acres or more of land own 30 percent of Minnesota’s forest land. Woodland stewardship plans provide the framework for private landowners to address natural resource concerns and issues as identified in the State Forest Action Plan. Woodland stewardship plans expire in 10 years. Participating landowners pursue sustainable forestry goals, including improving wildlife habitat, maintaining water quality and applying sustainable timber harvesting.


What Is DNR Doing?

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Stewardship plans promote sustainable management of private forest lands.   Image 1 of 1 (use left/right arrows to navigate previous/next)

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In 2016 and 2017,increased funding for DNR allowed the Private Forest Management (PFM) program to hire approximately ten additional foresters to meet the needs of family forest landowners. DNR's program delivery still relies heavily on partners, however, PFM foresters have an increased coordination role of PFM activities across the state. The 2c Managed Forest Land tax classification and the Sustainable Forest Incentives Act (SFIA) helped increase plan demand. The SFIA was amended in 2017 to require that plans be reported to the DNR. As the new statutes begin to take effect, the DNR will get a more complete picture of private forest stewardship across the state. Efforts, such as the DNR's forestry cost-share assistance program, have been successful in enrolling landowners in cost-share funding to help implement on-the-ground stewardship practices. Over the past two years, the DNR has encumbered over $1.95 million dollars in forestpractices on private forest land.


Target: Enroll 37,000 acres to increase acres covered by current plans to 1,000,000 in FY 2020.

The DNR's long-term target is to consistently have 1 million acres of non-industrial private forest land 20 acres or larger in size under current (less than 10 years old) woodland stewardship plans. Maintaining and increasing acres enrolled in stewardship plans will be accomplished by collaborating with qualified private forestry consultants, Soil and Water Conservation District personnel, and industry foresters.