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. Sound natural resource-based economic development will ensure our state's competitive advantage. 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.


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, wildlife, biodiversity, and clean water.
  • Develop and manage mineral resources responsibly. Ensure mineral exploration and mining are 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, support 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.
sign in a store front window that reads mountain bikers welcome

large mining dump truck with a man looking up

pallet of 2x4 thermally modified wood.

two women hunting small game walking down a path



Four key trends informing Goal 3 strategies:

  1. The forest products industry is responding to changing climatic conditions and consumer demand with adaptive management and creative wood-product uses.
  2. The School Trust has emerging opportunities for new revenue but may lack the ability to make the necessary investments in its asset base.
  3. Public investment in conservation and outdoor recreation is transforming local economies through increased tourism, new residents and businesses, improved tax revenues, and health care savings.
  4. Water quality and water quantity are increasingly limiting factors for current and future economic activities and community needs

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