Forest Legacy

Division of Forestry

Upper Mississippi- UPM Forestry Legacy Project

Benefits and Background

photo: Trail opening located on the Upper Mississippi Forest Project The Upper Mississippi-UPM Forestry Legacy Project will protect nearly 190,000 acres of working forests in Itasca, Aitkin, St. Louis, Cass, Beltrami, Koochiching, and Clearwater counties in northern Minnesota. The project includes a permanent conservation easement on 187,876 acres and a fee acquisition of 1,300 acres. Protection of the property will prevent fragmentation and parcelization of the forest and ensure it remains intact and sustainably managed forever while providing recreational, economic, and environmental benefits.


Project Features:

photo: Images for Environmnental Benfits showing Intact forest, wildlife habitat and clean waterEnvironmental Benefits:

  • Intact forest: The property connects with existing public forest lands to create more than 4,000 square miles of uninterrupted forest habitat, providing shelter for wildlife today and potential resiliency to climate change over time.
  • Wildlife habitat: A colorful collection of wildlife lives on or travels across this forest land, including wolves, black bears, eagles, great gray owls, osprey, ruffed grouse, woodcock, and neotropical migratory songbirds. Rare plants, such as triangle moonwort, hidden-fruit bladderwort, white adder's mouth and dragon's mouth, also call this land home. The property's value is recognized in the State Conservation and Preservation Plan.
  • Clean water: This property includes parts of rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands that feed into or affect the Upper Mississippi River, which provides drinking water to millions of people, including residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul. More than 60,000 acres of wetlands and 280 miles of shoreline exist on the property.

photo: Trail signage at the Upper Mississippi-UPM forest projectRecreational Benefits:

photo: Image of a working forestEconomic Benefits:

DNR Involvement: