Minnesota Forests for the Future, Phase 3

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Recipient Type
State Government
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
June 2014
Activity Type
Land Acquisition
Counties Affected
St. Louis
St. Louis
Project Overview

This Minnesota Forests for the Future project protected 19,439 acres of forest and forested wetlands with perpetual working forest conservation easements in Lake, Itasca and Koochiching Counties ensuring public access, management access and sustainably managed forests.

Project Details

Accomplishment Plan: http://www.lsohc.leg.mn/FY2012/accomp_plan/3a.pdf

Forest land ownerships changes within recent years, primarily within the industrial forest ownerships, are occurring as the timber industry restructures and looks to obtain value from their land through real estate sales and recreational leases. These sales can result in forest fragmentation or even outright conversion of forest lands, impact public recreational access including recreational trail routes, affect forest management access by public agencies across the impacted lands, degrade wildlife habitat, and decrease the use of sustainable forestry practices.

The current proposal included 3 project opportunities located across the Northern Forest Section on industrial forest ownerships that have active recreational lease and/or land sales programs. The projects included a 10,581 acre permanent working forest conservation easement in Lake County, a 1,892 acre permanent working forest conservation easement in Itasca County and a 6,966 acre permanent working forest conservation easement in Koochiching County.

LSOHC appropriations will target priority projects as determined by the scoring criteria developed in consultation with the Minnesota Forests for the Future Advisory Committee (stakeholder group). Projects may need to be scaled back or phased to accommodate the available funding. Each of the 3 projects included in this proposal were located within program priority areas as identified by a GIS model that integrates recreational, ecological and economic data.

These projects addressed forest fragmentation, habitat degradation, recreational and management access, and sustainable forestry through perpetual conservation easements and fee acquisition that will protect the forest and wetland habitats in perpetuity, restrict forest parcelization and development, provide for public recreational access and public management access, and promote sustainable forest management practices.

The Minnesota Forests for the Future and Federal Forest Legacy Programs have proven to be cost effective programs for protecting private forest land habitat in Minnesota, while also providing public recreational and agency management access and ensuring sustainable forestry. These programs have protected over 358,000 acres to date at an average cost of less than $300/acre. Over $24 million in non-state funds have been leveraged for these protection efforts over the past 10 years.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
ML 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 3(a)
Appropriation Language

$5,409,000 the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire forest and wetland habitat through working forest easements and fee acquisition under the Minnesota forests for the future program pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 84.66. A conservation easement acquired with money appropriated under this paragraph must comply with subdivision 13. A list of proposed land acquisitions must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan. The accomplishment plan must include an easement monitoring and enforcement plan. Up to $150,000 is for establishing a monitoring and enforcement fund as approved in the accomplishment plan and subject to subdivision 15. An annual financial report is required for any monitoring and enforcement fund established, including expenditures from the fund.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Measurable Outcome(s)


Source of Additional Funds

TNC, State Bonding, owner

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Street Address
1810-30th St. NW
Zip Code
507-333-2012 x222
Administered By
Administered by

500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Email the Agency