Land-Eligibility in SFIA

view of forest with hazelnuts in foreground

A minimum of 20 contiguous acres of eligible lands are required to enroll in SFIA. The land has to be at least 50 percent forested and covered under a current forest management plan that is registered with the DNR.

For land to be eligible for SFIA, it must:

  • Be at least 50 percent forested as defined by Minnesota Statutes 88.01, subd. 7. Ask your forest management plan writer or a DNR forester if you need help interpreting this definition.
  • Be at least 20 contiguous acres, meaning each piece of eligible land must be at least 20 contiguous acres in size. You cannot add up smaller, separated pieces to reach 20 acres.
  • Have a current forest management plan registered with the DNR.
  • Be current on property taxes.
  • Have an SFIA covenant in place at the County Recorder's Office.

Non-forested land

Some types of non-forested land are eligible for SFIA enrollment, such as:

  • An open body of water that is under three acres in size. Multiple water bodies are permitted. For example, if you have four ponds or open bodies of water that are each two acres in size, all eight acres would be eligible. But if you have one pond or open body of water that is five acres in size, then none of the pond or water body acres would be eligible.
  • Grasslands, wetlands, and brushlands that have a positive influence on local hydrology.

No more than 50 percent of each piece of enrolled land can be non-forested

Structures and Houses

Land with a structure on it is not eligible for SFIA, but the remaining acres in the parcel may qualify for SFIA. A minimum of three acres must be excluded for each improved structure that:

  • Is greater than 300 square feet or
  • Is used residentially on more than an occasional basis or
  • Provides water, sewer, or electrical hook ups for residential purposes.

This only applies to structures that are within the boundaries of the land being enrolled in SFIA.

Structures that are used exclusively to house and store forest management equipment may be eligible for SFIA.

Ineligible Lands and Parcels

Several types of land are not eligible for enrollment in SFIA. The land, or individual acres, under the uses listed below is not eligible. However, other acres in the same parcel with permissible uses defined above may still be considered for SFIA. Land is not eligible for SFIA, if the land is:

Ineligible Parcels

An entire tax parcel is ineligible if any of the land within it is enrolled in or classified as:

  • Green Acres
  • Rural Preserve
  • Agricultural Preserves
  • Metropolitan Agricultural Preserves
  • 2c Managed Forest Land