The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has resources and foresters available to help landowners manage woodlands damaged by recent tornadoes and storms.
“Seeing trees down in your woods and coming up with a plan for cleanup can be overwhelming,” said Jennifer Teegarden, cooperative forest management outreach specialist. “Be sure to take advantage of the help the DNR can provide to you.”
The DNR has cost-share funds to help affected woodland owners remove downed and damaged trees and to reforest their woods.
A DNR forester can assess the damage and help develop a project plan to manage woodlands. The forester may also be able to assist a woodland owner enroll in the DNR’s cost-share program designed to help woodland owners improve their woods. Additionally, foresters can discuss the benefits of getting a Woodland Stewardship Plan as a way to meet woodland goals, improve the health of the woods, and enroll in tax incentive programs.
Storms are one way nature helps rejuvenate the landscape. Often, strong winds blow down unhealthy or decayed trees in a forest, creating openings for younger, healthier trees that can benefit wildlife. Leaving some downed trees in woods can create wildlife habitat.
A timber harvest to remove downed and damaged trees can make woods safer and more accessible for future recreation and management activities. A timber harvest also is a way to keep woods healthy, meet woodland ownership goals, and make woods more resilient to future storms.
A professional forester can appraise timber, help find the right logger, and monitor harvest. A DNR forester can either help with a timber sale or connect woodland owners with a professional forester who can provide assistance.
Visit the DNR’s Forest Stewardship page of the DNR website to learn how the DNR works with private woodland owners, get information about cost-share, and to find an area forester.