Cost-share for woodland owners

Private forest showing selective harvest

Do you own woodlands in rural Minnesota? Are you looking to practice good forest stewardship on your land? If so, money is available to share the costs of your woodland projects.

Taking care of your woodlands benefits all Minnesotan's by:

  • Enhancing recreational opportunities such as bird watching, hunting, and fishing.
  • Improving and protecting water quality.
  • Enhancing wildlife habitat.
  • Supporting a healthy forest products economy.
  • Providing clean air.

What is cost-share?

The DNR cost-share program provides financial assistance to private woodland owners for a wide variety of forestry-related practices. The funds can help complete goals associated with good forest stewardship. A typical project is between 3 and 20 acres but could be smaller or larger depending on land goals. Whether you want to maintain wildlife habitat, promote biodiversity, prevent wildfires, produce firewood, or create an enjoyable place to escape, we can help.

What is eligible?

Many activities are eligible for cost-share support. Below are just a few examples.

Reforestation and tree planting:

  • Replanting woods after harvesting trees.
  • Removing competing vegetation to improve a site or growth of newly planted trees.

Forest improvement:

  • Thinning out undesirable trees to provide more room for desirable trees.
  • Pruning lower branches of trees to improve timber quality

Forest health and protection:

  • Removing invasive species such as buckthorn or garlic mustard to improve forest health.
  • Protecting trees from deer browse with tree tubes or fence enclosures.

Wildlife habitat enhancement:

  • Planting trees to increase the food supply for wildlife.
  • Planting a native prairie to improve habitat for wildlife.

Soil and water protection and improvement:

  • Using temporary grass cover to reduce soil erosion.
  • Rehabbing forest roads or skid trails to reduce soil erosion.

Riparian or fisheries habitat and improvement:

  • Planting stubs of cottonwood or willow to improve riparian woody cover.
  • Installing tree revetments to stabilize stream banks.

Forest recreation:

  • Constructing or improving recreational paths or trails.
  • Felling, removing, or pruning trees to improve the aesthetic quality of woods.

Woodland stewardship plans:

Funds can also be used for creating or updating woodland stewardship plans, which will help you better understand your woods and what you need to do to accomplish goals for your land.

A $300 payment will be made to the landowner if the following is met:

  • A DNR-approved plan writer prepares the plan.
  • The plan is approved by the DNR and registered.
  • The landowner applies for financial assistance before the plan is started or while the plan is in progress. Plans already completed before applying for financial assistance are not eligible.

For more information on Woodland Stewardship Plans, go to the Forest Stewardship webpage.

Who is eligible, and for how much?

Woodland owners in Minnesota who own land that is rural in nature are eligible for cost-share. No minimum acreage is required. Stewardship Plans are not required to use these finds. Eligible activities will be approved by a DNR Cooperative Forest Management (CFM) forester. A CFM forester cooperates or works with private landowners and partners.

Yard landscaping projects are not eligible for cost-share support. Pastured or grazed lands are not eligible.

How does it work?

Contact a DNR CFM forester where your property is located to start an application. They will work with you to develop a project plan that meets your goals. You can do the work or hire a contractor. After completing your project, a DNR forester inspects your project to verify it was completed. Once approved, you receive payment from the DNR based on the type of work done.

Contact a DNR CFM forester to get started!