Laws, Markets, and Local Politics Drive Outcomes of Minnesota's County Managed Forests

Forrest Fleischman, Marissa Schmitz, Kelsey Poljacik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There are frequently calls to increase local government control over forests in the US. Minnesota's county forests contain approximately 30% of all local-government-managed forests in the United States. These forests are managed in ways that protect public access while providing a stable timber supply to mills. This happens because of the intersection of law, markets, and local politics. County forests are legally obligated to provide revenue to local tax districts while paying for management from money earned from timber sales. This pushes counties towards managing with the goal of providing a stable revenue stream from their lands, a goal that is supported by local politics in timber-dependent counties. The result is that counties are more production-oriented than other public forestland managers; however, they provide more consistent public access than private forest owners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Forestry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for the support and feedback we have received from the members of the Minnesota Association of County Land Commissioners, as well as funding from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, (McIntire- Stennis Project # 1013165) and the University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources, and for the research assistance of Coleburn Anderson.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s).


  • County forests
  • Minnesota
  • community-based forest management
  • land tenure
  • local control


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