State Forests

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Foot Hills State Forest

 

Forest Landscape: Hundreds of small lakes and potholes scattered throughout the forest are evidence of the great ice movement that occurred in the region during the glacial era. The terrain in the forest varies from level in the southwest to rolling to steep in the remainder of the area.

Management Activities: Timber harvesting, reforestation, wildlife habitat improvement, and recreational development occur in the forest. More than 5,000 cords of wood are harvested annually from the publicly owned forest. The DNR also protects the forest and surrounding areas from wildfires.

History: In the late 1800s and early 1900s, logging was virtually the only business in the area. Sites cleared by harvesting were later homesteaded but with little success because most of the land turned out to be unsuitable for agriculture. Many homesteads were abandoned, having become isolated when the logging companies left the region and no longer maintained their railroads. Careful observers can still see the remnants of old logging roads, railroads, and homesteads in the forest. Over the years, the Minnesota Legislature enlarged the original forest reserve to its present size of 46,896 acres. The DNR manages 40 percent of the area, Cass County manages 25 percent, and 35 percent of land within forest boundaries is privately owned.

Acres: 46,896

Year Estab: 1933

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