Minnesota and Northeast Iowa Morainal Section Forest Resource Management Plan (MIM SFRMP)

SFRMPs, along with 10-year stand exam lists, are operational plans for achieving the DNR's strategic direction for forest resource management. They guide forest management activities on DNR-administered lands within each forested ecological section in Minnesota as the 10-year stand exam list is implemented.

The MIM SFRMP outlines the natural resource issues, planning process, management goals and directions, and implementation strategies for state-administered forest lands in the MIM Section. Within the Section, the SFRMP also identifies management opportunity areas, such as old forest management complexes around old growth stands.

In addition, the Sand Dunes State Forest, within the Anoka Sand Plains subsection, has an operational plan that was finalized in 2017 Please see our Sand Dunes State Forest Operational Plan website for more information.

Map of Minnesota showing the location of Northern Minnesota Drift and Lake Plains Section

Plan Status

The DNR is currently developing the Minnesota and Northeast Iowa Morainal Section Forest Resource Management Plan (MIM SFRMP). This plan will replace the Hardwoods Hills and Anoka Sand Plains SFRMPs, which previously covered those two ecological subsections within the MIM section, and extend to the big woods, oak savanna, and St. Paul Baldwin plains subsections in southern Minnesota.

The comment period for the plan was completed in October of 2023, and the plan is currently in review within the DNR. Once approved, the final plan documents will be available on this page.

Minnesota and Northeast Iowa Morainal Section information

The Minnesota and Northeast Iowa Morainal section covers approximately 9.2 million acres, stretching nearly 350 miles from Polk County in northwestern Minnesota to the Iowa border, and includes approximately 33,650 acres of state-managed forest land. Glacial deposits define landforms in the Section, including rugged to hummocky moraines, drumlins composed of rolling till, and sand plains within moraines. The forest ecosystems within this ecological Section include aspen and oak savannas and woodlands, mesic forests dominated by sugar maple, basswood, and northern red oak, and floodplain and terrace forests along river valleys.

Unique features of this part of the state include:

  • A mosaic of vegetation types at Minnesota's transition between prairie and forest biomes.
  • Unique plant communities, such as the state-imperiled Southern Dry Barrens Oak Savanna, and several rare species unique to this community, including the native wild lupine, on which larvae of the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly depend.
  • Numerous Species in Greatest Conservation Need, including Blanding's turtle, hognose snake, gopher snake, bobolink, dickcissel, greater prairie chicken, western grebe, Forster's tern, Swainson's hawk, creek heelsplitter, least darter, Ozark minnows, and redfin shiners.
  • Major rivers, including the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, that support a high diversity of birds, stream fishes, and mussels.

The MIM SFRMP preliminary assessment (completed in 2021) document includes additional background information about the Section.

Direct comments or questions about this plan to: [email protected]

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