Goal 3: Natural Resources Economy

Minnesota's natural resources contribute to strong and sustainable job markets, economies, and communities.

Minnesota's lands and waters define our state and are a major reason people choose to live, work, and play here. Careful management of our natural resources ensures Minnesota continues to attract future residents, businesses, tourists, and skilled workers to all parts of the state. We have been successful in the past at growing a vibrant economy and protecting the land and water that make Minnesota among the nation's leaders in quality of life measures. Sound natural-resource based economic development will ensure our competitive advantage as a top state.



Four key trends informing Goal 3 strategies:

  1. The forest products industry is changing, presenting opportunities for innovative forest management and forest products.
  2. Demand for mineral development is increasing on a national and international scale, though mining remains a cyclical industry.
  3. Managing school trust lands in the long-term best interest of the trust presents challenges given the limited ability to invest in development and improving the trust's assets.
  4. Fish, wildlife, and tourism recreation spending continues to contribute to the state's economy.



The following strategies serve to guide targeted actions related to Goal 3:

  • Manage for healthy, productive forests. Ensure Minnesota's forests continue to provide a full range of values, including a sustainable supply of wood resources, outdoor recreation and tourism, biodiversity, and clean water.
  • Develop and manage mineral resources responsibly. Ensure mineral exploration and mining is environmentally sound and benefits the state's job markets, economies and communities.
  • Sustain healthy watersheds and groundwater supplies. Manage for clean, abundant water and flood protection as essential foundations of industry, agriculture, community growth and development, as well as recreation.
  • Support and grow Minnesota's nature-based tourism economy. Create and maintain exceptional outdoor recreation experiences to create jobs, generate dollars for local economies, and reduce health costs.
  • Manage school trust fund lands effectively and sustainably. Provide revenue for Minnesota schools using fiscally responsible and sound natural resources management principles for oversight of school trust fund lands.