State Forests

Lyons State Forest


Forest Landscape: Lyons State Forest is located in the coniferous forest biome. The topography consists of a mix of glacial features, such as end moraines, outwash plains, till plains, and drumlin fields. The moraine soils are predominantly coarse to moderately coarse in texture sands and sandy loams. Historically, fires occurred about every 10 to 40 years within much of this area, which is why the land is dominated by jack pine, quaking aspen, and birch. Stands of red and white pine are also found in the forest.

Management Activities: Minnesota's state forests are managed to produce timber and other forest crops, provide outdoor recreation, protect watersheds, perpetuate wildlife, and perpetuate rare and distinctive species of flora and fauna. The DNR manages lands to sustainably allocate renewable forest resources to Minnesota citizens while maintaining and improving forest health. Lyons State Forest is managed primarily for jack pine and aspen. Management goals are to maintain these species for commercial timber products such as sawtimber, pulpwood, posts, and poles, and to provide wildlife habitat. Present-day recreationists still use the roads created by early loggers.

History: The Dakota and the Ojibway people first occupied the Crow Wing River area. In the early 1700s French fur traders arrived and controlled the fur business. Later in the 1760s, the British and Canadian traders came to dominate the trade. Between the 1870s and the early 1900s, logging was the chief economy of Wadena County. Timber taken from the dense forests along the Crow Wing River and its tributaries furnished labor for hundreds of early settlers and provided an economic base for many towns and villages in the area. Lumbering operations expanded as railroads were extended throughout the Crow Wing area. By the turn of the century, most virgin timber had been cleared and the lumber industry declined sharply. The region's economy soon came to depend on agriculture.

Acres: 14,789

Year Estab: 1963


Rare Species Guide:


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