Q: A recent newspaper article indicated that the timber harvest in Minnesota dropped significantly in recent years. In light of this, how has management of state-owned forests changed?
A: To provide a predictable and sustainable supply of wood from DNR-administered forest lands that help support Minnesota's forest products industry and the state's economy, a DNR goal is to offer for sale at least 800,000 cords of wood per year. State land sustainable harvest levels are based on long-term forest management plans that consider current and desired future forest conditions and the need to provide for a wide range of social, economic and environmental values. (See Page 51 in a pdf file of section three of the DNR's Conservation Agenda Report, by going to http://go.usa.gov/mdf ).
While timber harvest has decreased on private lands in recent years, the volume of timber harvested from state lands has increased. During the past five years, an average of 800,000 cords of timber was harvested per year from DNR lands. The previous five years (2002-2006) averaged 700,000 cords harvested per year.
-Gaylord Paulson, DNR timber sales program coordinator