Private woodland owners control 5.3 million acres, or about 40%, of Minnesota’s timberlands. Their lands are the scenic backdrop for many of Minnesota’s most beautiful vistas. Private woodlands provide habitat for native wildlife as well as clean water for aquatic ecosystems and also municipal water supplies.
The decisions made by Minnesota’s 150,000+ individual and family woodland owners have important impacts well beyond their properties. However, only a very small proportion of timber sales in Minnesota involve a professional forester. Minnesota is a national leader in forest stewardship plan preparation, having provided professional plans for well over a million acres of private woodland. But that’s still only 20% of the land — clearly, most woodland owners are not taking advantage of existing sources of information.
This site was created to help private woodland owners make sound, well informed woodland stewardship decisions. The purpose of the site is to help woodland owners learn how their forests work, how sustainable forest management works, and how they can acheive their forest stewardship goals with confidence and trust in the professionals with whom they work.
Evaluating the site: The site will be evaluated by a variety of methods. The standard measures will all be used: hit counts, visit duration, traffic on the discussion group, and so on. In addition, a random sample of site users will be asked to complete an optional survey. Early evaluations of other websites targeting woodland owners suggest that a very large proportion of site users have not previously been in contact with a professional forester.
Funding and site management: This site was developed by the University of Minnesota Extension Service in 2006. Site development was supported by a grant from the Vital Forests / Vital Communities initiative of the Blandin Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
University of Minnesota Extension educators and Forest Resources undergraduate students create, edit, and manage site content. The site is a continual work in progress. Content is modified, questions are answered, errors are fixed, and new features are added weekly, if not daily.
To learn about updates and improvements to the site, visit or subscribe to the News from MyMinnesotaWoods.org blog.
We always want to hear how you think we can make the site better. Drop us a line, either by commenting on the blog or contacting Eli or Philip.