Forestry & Woodland Conservation

Woodlands are worth more than meets the eye.

Forests are a proven resource and a strong value to Minnesota's  economy. We've learned how to manage sustainable harvests, and how to  ensure our forest legacy is maintained for generations to come. However, to focus only on the economic value of timber would be like the  old saying goes... “Not seeing the forest for the trees!”


We  know that woodlands are a primary contributor to many of Minnesota’s  other industries, in ways people never imagined. Furthermore, the water  quality in our rivers and lakes is directly connected to the health of  our woodlands. Forested lands act as a giant sponge, filtering and  absorbing storm water runoff. The water that does leave the forest is  very clean, with few pollutants.

Proper  forest management not only benefits the landowner, but stacks benefits  for their neighbors, the region, and the watershed. For example a  healthy forest will prevent soil erosion, provide habitat, provide  income, contribute to water quality, improve air quality, and add to the  beauty of the region. This positive chain reaction is what we call  “stacking” or compounding benefits for all.


A Forest Stewardship Plan


Forest Stewardship Plans

Private forested lands are part of a larger landscape called a  watershed. The choices woodland property owners make have an impact on  the health and beauty of the region. Forested property owners have the  ability to help restore natural balance to their watershed through well  funded woodland management programs.

Most of the volunteer forest management programs allow landowners to harvest timber from their property!

Clearwater SWCD can help with a host of forest management projects. But it starts  by writing a certified Forest Stewardship Plan. The Forest Stewardship Program helps woodland  landowners create and use voluntary management  plans for their property. A forest stewardship plan describes your  personal goals, unique forest  resources, and suggested management activities to ensure long-term  economic, ecological, and social benefits.

A Forest Stewardship Plan could grant you access to cost-share funds and tax-relief incentives!

To qualify for one of these programs, a landowner must generally have at least 20
qualifying acres of land.

Serving all types of landowners