Restoration of the 1936 Statewide Forest Survey of Minnesota

Thumbnail Image
View Statistics


Collection period


Date completed


Date updated

Time period coverage

Geographic coverage

Source information

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Restoration of the 1936 Statewide Forest Survey of Minnesota

Published Date



Author Contact

Ek, Alan R


Observational Data


Long-term forest plot datasets have proven invaluable for understanding the changing conditions and ecology across Minnesota’s 17.3 million acres of forestland. Data from past and present USDA Forest Service (USFS) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program efforts are of high quality and are informed by thousands of field plot observations for each survey. The aim of this study was to locate historic forest records for Minnesota, identify useful data, and develop methodologies for digitizing and restoring data to a usable format.


Over 300 stand and stock tables and summary of volume tables for Minnesota were restored from the first FIA Lake States forest survey conducted between 1930 and 1938. The level of detail of the data varied, but included area of forest cover types and stand size classes, and number of trees and volumes per acre by individual species. The data was presented in an Access database with a series of tables and queries. Definitions and further explanations about the restored historic data can be found in Staff Paper Series No. 241, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota

Referenced by

Flanary, Merril H.; Anderson, Brian D.; Ek, Alan R.. (2016). Restoration of the 1936 Statewide Forest Survey of Minnesota: Data Description and Comparisons with 2014 Forest Conditions. University of Minnesota.

Related to



Funding information

Funding provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative–Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences Department of Forest Resources and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station under Project MIN 42-019. In addition, the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station staff provided support.

Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Flanary, Merril H; Anderson, Brian D; Wilson, David C; Ek, Alan R. (2016). Restoration of the 1936 Statewide Forest Survey of Minnesota. Retrieved from the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota (DRUM),
View/Download file
File View/OpenDescriptionSize
1936_USFS_Survey_Database_Forest_Covers.accdb1936 USFS survey database of forest covers6.42 MB
1936_USFS_Survey_Database_All_Covers.accdb1936 USFS survey database of all covers, including non-forested cover types5.1 MB
UserGuide_1936_USFS_Survey_Database_Forest_Covers.pdfDescriptions of tables in the 1936 USFS survey database of forest covers271.4 KB
UserGuide_1936_USFS_Survey_Database_AllCovers.pdfDescriptions of tables in the 1936 USFS survey database of all covers88.2 KB
Archival_1936_USFS_Survey_Database_Forest_Covers.zipArchival version of the 1936 USFS survey database of forest covers in csv format190.82 KB
Archival_1936_USFS_Survey_Database_All_Covers.zipArchival version of the 1936 USFS survey database of all covers in csv format172.52 KB
readme.txtDescription of data12.2 KB

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.