Cost-share for woodland owners

Private forest showing selective harvest

Do you own woods in rural Minnesota? Are you looking to practice good stewardship on your land? If so, money is available to share the costs of your woodland projects.
Taking care of your woods benefits all Minnesotans 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 your goals. Whether you want to maintain wildlife habitat, promote biodiversity, prevent wildfires, produce firewood, or create an enjoyable place to escape, we can help.

Drought-killed seedling relief funding

The DNR received legislative funding to cover costs for woodland owners to replace seedlings killed by drought. Seeded or planted seedlings killed by drought are eligible.  Funding is available through June 30, 2027.
Eligible activities include:

  1. Preparing a site for planting
  2. Purchasing seedlings
  3. Planting seedlings
  4. Controlling vegetative competition
  5. Protecting seedlings from animal browse
  6. Releasing seedlings from competing vegetation

Replacement work can begin once you are enrolled in the program. You can apply now for replacement work this fall or next spring.

Contact your stewardship forester to enroll in this program.

What is eligible?

Several 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 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 minimize 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.

Who is eligible?

Woodland owners in Minnesota who own land that is rural in nature are eligible for cost-share. Work must be done in a wooded landscape. Landscape projects around homes are not eligible. Stewardship plans are not required to use these funds. A DNR Cooperative Forest Management forester will approve eligible activities.

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!

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