Many Benefits Available to Minnesota's Family Forest Owners

By: Roger Nelson, Private Forest Management forester, Division of Forestry, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Family forest owners can now reap many benefits from a revitalized Private Forest Stewardship (PFM) program at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its partner agencies. There is $500,000 available until June 30, 2017, or until funds run out, to cost-share woodland projects (harvesting, planting, etc.). In addition there is a $300 incentive payment available to all woodland owners who receive a new, or updated, Woodland Stewardship plan that is registered with the DNR.

One way for woodland owners and foresters who work with private landowners to learn about these options is to view a webinar by John Carlson, DNR's PFM program coordinator.

Other ways that the DNR and partner agencies are connecting family forest owners with resources is through open houses and field days. In late September an event was held on the Iron Range sponsored by the East Rand Joint Powers Board and the East Range private forest management stakeholders group. A morning open house forum allowed landowners to meet local service providers personally and learn about programs designed to help them manage their woodlot. Also local providers networked to better understand other providers' roles, responsibilities, and services.

An afternoon field tour highlighted various forest management activities, such as managing for wildlife habitat, hazardous fuel reduction treatments, salvage timber sales, spruce top harvesting, bushland management, and timber thinning and management. Each site featured a short description of the project followed by questions and discussion. Responses from the landowners in attendance were very positive. Landowners liked the literal "town hall" location of the event on the Iron Range and said they were likely to initiate some type of management activity soon.

Another informational workshop and field day will take place on Saturday, December 10 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Long Lake Conservation Center, 28952 438 Lane, Palisade MN, 56469. Register with Dennis Thomson at 218-927-6565, ext. 111, or by email [email protected]. The cost is $10 and includes coffee, cookies, lunch, bus tour, and handouts. Please RSVP by December 5 to allow for busing and lunch counts.

If you are interested in supporting a family forest management event in your area through assistance with the financing, logistics, workshop presentations or tours please contact your local DNR office. For more information, visit: