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.
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.