Goal 3: Natural Resources Economy

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

The Challenge

Sustainable use of natural resources provides funds needed to maintain forests, lakes and lands. It also is a key contributor to Minnesota's economy, with forestry and mining creating more than 73,000 jobs and travel and tourism contributing $12.5 billion in annual sales. Today's global economy, however, is changing both supply and demand and challenging us to find new ways to tap natural resources' income-generating potential. Done right, natural resource?based economic development can help Minnesota maintain a competitive edge as a top place to live, work and play.



Click on photos above to learn more about each trend.

  1. The forest products industry is changing.
  2. Demand for mineral development is increasing.
  3. Revenue from school trust land is increasing.
  4. Fish and wildlife recreation spending continues to grow the state's economy.

This page offers a quick overview of our plans to meet this goal. For more details, click below to learn more.

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To meet our goal of contributing to strong and sustainable job markets, economies and communities, we will:

  • manage for healthy, productive forests that provide jobs, wood resources, outdoor recreation and other services
  • develop and manage mineral resources to boost environmentally sound mining
  • sustain healthy watersheds and ground water
  • support and grow nature-based tourism
  • manage trust fund lands to meet our fiduciary responsibility while protecting natural resources.


The following actions are examples of how we will carry out these strategies.

Encourage emerging forest industries

We will provide sustainable access to 800,000 cords of third-party-certified wood annually and promote the development of bioenergy.

Advance mining technologies and strategies that protect the environment

We will encourage environmentally sound mining, improve reclamation technologies and boost financial assurance for environmental protection.

Enhance and expand nature-based tourism

We will accommodate emerging recreation interests, acquire private land in state parks, and connect state trails to cities and parks.

Improve groundwater and surface water systems

We will install 6,000+ monitoring wells, improve data management and provide more accurate water use information.