DNR Sustainable Timber Harvest Analysis

Select harvest

New sustainable timber harvest target on DNR-managed forest lands

After more than a year of rigorous scientific analysis, discussions with key partners, including conservation organizations and forest industry, and public input, DNR has set a new 10-year sustainable timber harvest at 870,000 cords offered for sale annually from DNR-managed forest lands.

Under the sustainable timber harvest target of 870,000 cords annually, DNR-managed forest lands will continue to sustain Minnesota's rich biodiversity, provide healthy, thriving wildlife habitat, support our state economy, contribute to clean air through carbon storage, and keep our water clean.

Beyond the 870,000 cords, DNR will also launch a special five-year initiative that could offer up to 30,000 additional cords of ash and tamarack annually in response to the threat posed by emerald ash borer and eastern larch beetle, two invasive species that kill ash and tamarack trees.

For more detailed information, please review the project documents:


Good forest management includes periodic review of timber harvest levels and their impact to the greater forest ecosystem and economy. Governor Dayton requested the DNR analyze the sustainability of harvesting one million cords of timber per year from DNR-managed forest lands. If the analysis determined that an annual harvest of one million cords was not sustainable, the governor asked DNR to identify an alternative sustainable harvest target. Mason, Bruce & Girard (MB&G), an independent contractor, conducted the analysis, and a stakeholder advisory group provided input.

More than 140 individuals or groups provided comments that were shared with MB&G for consideration in their final report; the DNR also considered these comments in making the harvest level decision.

DNR strives to provide a stable, quality source of wood fiber to industry in a manner that is sustainable and conserves Minnesota's state forest resources into the future. A variety of environmental and economic factors were considered in the analysis. The final MB&G report provides important benchmarks for the amount of timber harvested from DNR-managed forest lands.

Forest benefits considered in the analysis

  • Timber Productivity
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Biodiversity
  • Water Quality and Water Quantity
  • Forest Community Health and Invasive Species
  • Economic Impact

DNR contracted with MB&G to complete the modeling and analysis work for this project. Last summer, MB&G developed a "Phase I" progress report  on the initial work for this project. That initial work was as a launching point into more in-depth modeling and analysis that resulted in the "Phase 2 Sustainable Timber Harvest Analysis Draft Report ." DNR created an Introductory Video Video camera icon to help explain how the analysis was conducted. After public comment and stakeholder group input, the MB&G final report was issued in February 2018.


  • Stakeholder Advisory Group engagement: Dec 2016-Spring 2018: completed
  • Contractor work: April2017-February 2018: completed
  • Draft report available for public comment: December 2017: completed
  • Final Report to Governor's Office: Spring 2018: completed

Stakeholder Advisory Group

Fourteen citizens representing a broad range of interests were selected based on their knowledge of and interest in forestry and forest management; wildlife habitat; conservation impacts; and the timber industry. All members are dedicated to working collaboratively to meet common goals.

Group members represent: Blandin Paper, Izaak Walton League, Potlatch, Minnesota Forest Industries, U.S. Forest Service, Minnesota Deer Hunter's Association, Minnesota Forest Resources Council, The Nature Conservancy, Ruffed Grouse Society, Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Audubon Society, University of Minnesota, Timber Producer's Association, and Minnesota Association of County Land Commissioners. In addition, DNR staff representing the divisions of Forestry, Wildlife, and Ecological and Water Resources participate in the stakeholder advisory group.

Comments or questions about the sustainable timber harvest analysis can be sent to:

Email: [email protected]

Mail to: Sustainable Timber Harvest Analysis Project
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Get Updates & Notifications

Sign up for updates