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.
Some think leaving nature completely untouched is best for the forest, but proper management of woodlands is required to strengthen the natural foundation of a forest; in turn benefiting the economic, recreational and natural value of the land.
Most of the volunteer forest management programs still allow
landowners to harvest timber from their property!
Forests serve as a giant natural sponge, soaking up large amounts of storm water runoff. Woodlands also filter out contaminants from excess storm water. The root system and vegetative base of woodlands protect both groundwater and surface water like lakes and rivers.
The “Disturbance” of land has an affect on its ability to slow down and filter storm water runoff. As woodlands are developed or converted to crop or pasture lands the soil looses its ability to retain and filter water. Most of the excess storm water runs directly into waterways without slowing down or being filtered. The result is excess contaminants and sediment in our waters.
Studies show that when more than 25%of the forest within a watershed is converted to other land uses, the water quality, begins to decline. Much of the decline is due to greater amounts of phosphorus entering the water.
A Forest Stewardship Plan is the key to cost-share
funds & tax-relief incentives!
The DNR’s Forest Stewardship Program helps woodland landowners create and use voluntary management plans for their property.
A forest stewardship Plan is a custom plan that describes your personal goals, unique forest resources, and suggested management activities to ensure long-term economic, ecological, and social benefits.
Your local SWCD can help with a host of forest management projects. But it starts with writing you'r certified Forest Stewardship Plan.
Tree farm/Tree Planting programs
Reforestation and afforestation programs
Timber harvest management
Timber stand improvement and timber harvest management programs
Sustainable Forest Incentive Act
Property owners can receive dollars for qualifying forest land greater than 20 acres in the SFIA program
Allows a landowner to manage and harvest timber, but places development restrictions on the property.
Landowners of critical habitat forests can opt to sell parcels to the DNR. Forest acquisition funds such as the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund exist for these purposes.
Improve forest land for Deer hunting
There are a handful of conservation practices that can really bolster the population of deer within your woodlands. We love to discuss ideas with hunters.
Improve forest land for bird hunting
Bird hunting in our northern forests is a rich Minnesota tradition. We can help you build better bird habitat.
Boost timber production
Proper management of woodlands is required to strengthen the natural foundation of a forest; in turn benefiting the economic, recreational and natural value of the land.
We encourage routine harvesting of woodlands. Well managed forests are profitable for landowners as well as the watershed. We can help you develop a plan for managing healthy timber stands.
Play in the woods!
The goals of forest stewardship plans are to keep forests in tact. Often the best way to accomplish that is to make woodlands fun for landowners. Keep using the land, but keep it wooded. There are incentive dollars available to keep forest lands undeveloped. Often landowners can make trails, have fun,
and make money!
Create your own nature preserve
With a little planning, woodland landowners can provide habitat to all kinds of birds and animals. Simple things like leaving dead tree snags, making brush piles, creating small clearings or forest openings, can encourage all kinds of critters to make your forest their home. Managing the types of trees and shrubs can also create homes and food sources for animals. We have all kinds of tips for landowners that want to see more nature!
Improve biodiversity & beauty in forests
Our woodlands can be stunning in any season. You can enjoy even more beauty in your woodlands by adding a variety of native trees, shrubs, and grasses. A diverse woodland is like a tapestry that changes through the year. We can help you determine what trees and plants will thrive in the soil type of your forest.
Use the land as an investment
Did you know that you could actually get
PAID for keeping your forests wooded?!
Incentive programs exist for landowners that commit to keeping woodlands undeveloped. Many landowners are intent on keeping their land preserved and intact for their children and future generations.