Front Porch Blog

Foundation acts to slow sale, development of forest

[Minnesota] The Blandin Foundation has joined with the Nature Conservancy and other groups to slow the rapid transformation of northern Minnesota forest into developed home and cabin lots. The effort, to be announced today, will build a $17 million fund to buy conservation easements on up to 75,000 acres of privately-owned forest in and around Itasca County. The effort has the rare support of both the timber industry and conservation groups, of state forestry officials and Congress. In recent years, tens of thousands of acres of Minnesota forest have been divided up and sold, developed into rcereation property — often forcing out hunters, loggers and wildlife. The land held under the easements – owned by large corporations, such as UPMKymmene Corp., Potlatch Corp. and the Forestland Group LLC – would remain in private hands and on the tax rolls. But the DNR would pay those companies to hold legally binding easements. The companies would agree not to subdivide or develop the land. Conservation groups will determine which of the largest, contiguous blocks of private forest should be included in the effort.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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