One key recommendation of the 2007 Governor’s Task Force on the Competitiveness of
Minnesota’s Primary Forest Products Industry was to explore the feasibility of increasing total
statewide timber production across all ownerships to 5.5 million cords per year (mil cd yr
) in an
environmentally sustainable manner. Statewide harvest levels have averaged approximately 3.69
mil cd yr
over the past ten years, thus achieving the task force recommendation might require a
significant change in land management practices. One objective of this analysis is to determine if
a sustained timber yield of 5.5 mil cd yr
is achievable and to quantify changes in management
practices that could potentially increase utilization toward this level. This study starts from the
existing state of forest management as well as biologically maximum growth and then explores
potential forest management scenarios between these two endpoints using model and data-based
This analysis was done in order to provide information to policymakers, forest managers, and
proposers of new industrial facilities to help assess future timber yields and forest age classes
under a range of potential management and policy options that might help increase statewide
harvest levels. The focus is largely on resource analysis, i.e., potential yields rather than social,
environmental or economic, and as such the study is far more limited in scope than the 1994
Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Timber Harvesting (GEIS). However, the study did
incorporate the Minnesota Forest Resources Council guidelines, reserved forest areas,
consideration of old growth, etc. Thus aspects of various social, economic, and environmental
considerations were incorporated.
Schwalm, Christopher R..
Forest Harvest Levels in Minnesota: Effects of Selected Forest Management Practices on Sustained Timber Yields.
University of Minnesota.
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