Through a review of existing data and literature, the amount of dead wood in Minnesota
forests, its importance to forest health, the policies that guide sustainable dead wood
management, and the level of compliance with dead wood guidelines are described.
USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) monitoring efforts indicate
there is a sizable and diverse supply of dead wood in Minnesota’s nearly fifteen million
acres of timberland. There are almost eight cords of coarse woody debris (CWD) per
acre on Minnesota’s timberlands. Federal timberlands have the highest density of dead
wood, averaging over ten cords per acre. Scientific review indicates retention of dead
wood in Minnesota forests contributes to ecological benefits such as wildlife habitat,
improved water quality, and soil productivity.
Research was supported by UPM Kymmene and the Department of Forest Resources, College of Food,
Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA.
Brown, Ross N.; Ek, Alan R.; Kilgore, Michael A..
An assessment of dead wood standards and practices in Minnesota..
University of Minnesota.
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