High conservation value forests (HCVF)
The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) broadly defines high conservation value forests (HCVFs) as "areas of outstanding biological or cultural significance." Certificate holders are required to develop a practical definition and process for implementing the HCVF concept, relative to their scope and scale of operations.
How does this affect DNR's approach to resource management?
DNR is committed and required by statute (Minnesota Statues, 89 and Minnesota Statues, 89A ) to manage for a broad set of objectives and forest resources, including the management and protection of rare species, communities, features, and values across the landscape. This commitment coincides with Principle 9 in the FSC-US National Forest Management Standard (2010–2014), which requires certificate holders to identify HCVFs and manage such sites to "maintain or enhance" identified high conservation values (HCVs). Principle 9 states:
"Management activities in high conservation value forests shall maintain or enhance the attributes which define such forests. Decisions regarding high conservation value forests shall always be considered in the context of a precautionary approach. "
All decisions regarding DNR's HCVF approach have been based on the interpretation that most sites managed as HCVFs will remain working forests. This interpretation and expectation was based on a careful review of Principle 9 in the FSC-US National Forest Management Standard and FSC's HCVF Assessment Framework.
Where can I find additional information?
DNR's HCVF Fact Sheet more thoroughly explains the HCVF concept and DNR's approach to management of HCVFs. This fact sheet also lists additional resources and contacts.
How can I get involved?
DNR has completed an extensive internal review and evaluation of state lands to identify candidate HCVFs, the associated HCVs, and applicable general management guidance. The next important step in DNR's process is to seek stakeholder/public review and comments on the proposed HCVF locations, their attributes, and management options to maintain the HCVs. We need your help!
DNR intends to notify stakeholders and publically release information by October 15, 2013 for a 30 day comment period. Following the public comment period, DNR will respond to comments received and adjust the proposed HCVF designations as warranted, with the intent to complete the HCVF designation process by the end of 2013.
DNR invites and encourages YOU to review and comment on the proposed Candidate HCVFs. Below you will find a variety of documents containing information to inform and guide your comments, such as:
- DNR HCVF—Introduction and summary
- HCVF Fact Sheet (revised 7/17/2013)
- DNR's definition of HCVs (Categories 1-3)
- statewide candidate HCVF shapefile (.zip)
- DNR Region maps showing site-specific maps and reports of candidate HCVFs
- Minnesota Biological Survey (MBS)
Comments on the Candidate HCVFs and the associated information may be submitted to DNR's HCVF Workgroup at DNR.HCVF@state.mn.us. Paper copies of the above information may be requested. If you experience technical problems accessing this information or have questions interpreting the data, please send an email to the above address.
All written comments received will be considered in DNR's final HCVF designation decisions. DNR's response to comments will be posted on the HCVF webpage linked above. Thank you for your input and interest in DNR's HCVF approach.
DNR is also looking to consult and coordinate conservation efforts with adjacent land managers. If you are interested in working with DNR to maintain or enhance HCVs on DNR-administered land that are adjacent to or may cross onto your land, email DNR.HCVF@state.mn.us