Protecting and Restoring Our Forests

Minnesota’s trees and forests enrich our lives in so many ways. Beyond their visual splendor, they provide shade, wildlife habitat and places to walk, bike, hunt and enjoy the outdoors. They are nature’s own water purification system, absorbing pollutants and trapping sediment before they damage lakes, rivers and drinking water supplies.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it for hundreds and even thousands of years. They also provide timber products, food and medicine, and generate jobs and economic opportunities.

Like other forests in North America, however, Minnesota’s forests are in trouble.  Due in part to turn-of-the-century logging, slash burning, wildfires and modern harvesting practices, they have become greatly simplified in the diversity of tree species and age. This makes our forests less resilient and more vulnerable to stresses like invasive species, disease and insect infestations and changes in the climate.

The Nature Conservancy is working with forest managers, government and other decision-makers in Minnesota to: 1) help set forest conservation priorities for the next 20 years, 2) make forests in the Northwoods more resilient to climate change and other stresses through targeted restoration and protection and 3) expand the scale of forest restoration and protection by helping to develop good policies and plans for public forest lands and increasing funding for forest restoration.

Explore our work to conserve Minnesota’s forests for the future!


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