Protecting forests uses and public values
Minnesota's forests supply timber products, provide wildlife habitat, keep our water clean, offer recreation opportunities, and provide aesthetic and cultural benefits. Loss of forested areas poses an increasing threat to Minnesota's natural resources. As forests are fragmented and disappear, so do the benefits they provide. By providing economic incentives to landowners to keep their forests as forests, we encourage sustainable forest management and support strong markets for forest products. The Forest Legacy Program and Minnesota Forests for the Future Program are conservation programs administered by the DNR to encourage the protection of privately owned forest lands through conservation easements or land purchases. Protection of private forests maintains a multitude of public benefits including:
- Opportunities to hunt, fish, and camp
- Clean and abundant drinking water
- Habitat for fish and wildlife
- Timber, fuel wood, and other forest products.
The Forest Legacy Program is a federally funded program that provides matching funds to DNR Forestry to purchase land or conservation easement. Forest for the Future, a Minnesota-based program, gives landowners a way to sell conservation easements on their lands.
Since 2000 when the Forest Legacy Program started, 34 tracts were completed through the Forest Legacy program, resulting in the protection of over 145,665 acres of environmentally important forestland. An additional 221,326 acres was protected by Minnesota Forests for the Future Program (2008-2021) for a total of 366,991 acres. Explore the places and projects Forest Legacy and Forests for the Future Programs conserved through the Forest Legacy Interactive Map. Through these programs, we maintain forests so all Minnesotans can reap the economic, environmental, and social benefits of these lands.
For more information about the program and or land eligibility contact:
Christine Ostern Forest Legacy Program Coordinator