Using real estate records to assess forest land parcelization and development: A Minnesota case study

J. Mundell, S. J. Taff, M. A. Kilgore, S. A. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We measure the extent and location of forest parcelization activity in a heavily forested Minnesota county between 1999 and 2006 and examine both the immediate and extended relationship between parcelization and development activity. We document forest land parcelization and development activity over time utilizing readily available real estate parcel data. Despite widespread perceptions of rapidly increasing rates of parcelization, we observed no significant positive or negative trend in parcelization activity in Itasca County during the study period: an average of only 0.4% of private forest land was parcelized each year. Parcelization was more common near cities, water, and public lands. While the overall rate of parcelization observed in this study may seem meager, closer examination of specific parcels suggest that parcelization is intimately tied to development activity and that this development occurs not long after parcelization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 28 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the Minnesota Forest Resources Council , the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station ( Project MN-42-049 and Project MN-14-076 ), and the USDA-Forest Service, Northern Research Station .


  • Forest land parcels
  • Property tax records


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