Auditor: Minnesota Sustainable Forestry Act not sustainable

Minnesota’s effort to reward private forest owners with cash benefits for practicing sustainable forestry is poorly managed and may not be effective, the independent Legislative Auditor’s Office says.

In an extensive review of the Minnesota Sustainable Forestry Act released Monday, Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles said incentive payments made to landowners under the program are not tied to specific forestry goals. And he said there’s little effort to make sure landowners’ forestry practices actually are sustainable as required by state law.

The program, enacted by lawmakers in 2001, is intended to help offset property taxes for landowners who keep their forest managed sustainability and open to loggers and the state’s wood-products industry, replacing a 1957-vintage property tax credit for forestland.


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