This SFRMP considers state forest lands administered by the DNR divisions of Forestry and Fish and Wildlife in the St. Louis Moraines, Tamarack Lowlands, Nashwauk Uplands, and Littlefork-Vermilion Uplands subsection landscape units (North-4 Subsections). These four units cover approximately 5.5 million acres in an area that extends roughly from Tower in the east to Blackduck in the west, and from Aitkin in the south to International Falls in the north. For more detailed land descriptions, refer to chapters 1 through 3 of the Preliminary Issues and Assessment document.
Recreation, forestry, and tourism are major uses of land in these four subsections. Public agencies administer 50 percent of the land, with the state portion being 1.24 million acres or 22 percent. Approximately 1.17 million acres of the state land is timberland that will be considered for wood products production and other resource management objectives in this plan. Other state lands totaling 70,000 acres include state parks and scientific and natural areas, which will not be considered under this plan.
In addition, the federal government owns 300,000 acres (5.5 percent) that are managed by the USDA. Forest Service as part of the Chippewa and Superior national forests. Aitkin, Crow Wing, Cass, Itasca, Beltrami, Koochiching, St. Louis, and Carlton counties own and manage 1.23 million acres (22 percent). Private owners control 2.7 million acres (49 percent). Of that, industry owns 700,000 acres. For more details about land ownership, see the Preliminary Issues and Assessment document.
St. Louis Moraines, Tamarack Lowlands, Nashwauk Uplands, and Littlefork-Vermilion Uplands: 5,522,474 acres
Recently, DNR Forestry completed a Gap Analysis Program (GAP) classification for all lands in these subsections using satellite imagery. Based on those data, 66 percent of the land (nonwater) area is covered by forest. Aspen and birch cover types comprise 49 percent of this forest. Three percent of the subsection land area is cropland. Based on the DNR forest inventory of timberland that will be considered in this plan; aspen, birch, and balm of Gilead comprise 271,000 acres, and nonforested lowlands comprise 225,000 acres. For details about cover types, refer to Chapter 3 of the Preliminary Issues and Assessment document.