How do I get started?

The District offers a free site visit and consultation for landowners with land management and tree care questions and concerns.  Ask our Forester your land management and tree care questions including insect, pest, disease, timber harvesting, planting and other landscape questions. We can help identify issues, propose solutions plus explain and navigate the numerous options available for your forest management project.

If you own forested land in northeast Minnesota, you are a part of the Northern Superior Uplands. Your property is an important puzzle piece in the landscape ecology, home to lush forest and wetlands, diverse wildlife, and beautiful waters. Visit this link to learn about animals, plants, invasive species, geology, and watershed in this region of the state. The workbook is a great tool for landowners to get started on forest management and an introduction to the agencies and programs available.

What is a Forest Stewardship Plan?

Forest Stewardship Plans are formal written plans that provide an overview of the landscape, technical advice, and long-range forest management planning. Plans are tailored to your specific goals and interests while maintaining the sustainability of the landscape. Forest stewardship plans are an excellent starting point for any forested-land owner interested in learning more about their resources and caring for the future of Minnesota forests. 

A Forest Stewardship Plan includes an aerial photo of your land, maps of the plant communities and cover types, an overview of management options, and predicted future conditions. Plans cover topics including:

  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Trail and access construction
  • Timber Harvesting
  • Tree Planting
  • Insect and disease issues

Landowners with a current a Forest Stewardship Plan and eligible lands can enroll in State property tax relief programs, including the Sustainable Forest Incentive Act (SFIA), and 2c Managed Forest Lands.

What is the fee for a FSP?

The District charges a plan writing fee of $300 plus $9 per acre included in the plan. You can also have a private forester write the plan if you wish. Be sure they are certified to write a forest stewardship plan if you intend to enroll your acres in a state or federal program.

What is EQIP?

Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or EQIP, is a federal program that offers financial assistance to landowners wanting to manage natural resources or install sustainable land use equipment or strategies. Our foresters work closely with the USDA- Natural Resource Conservation Service to assist local landowners in applying for this program. 

EQIP offers financial assistance for a variety of land use projects, including:

  • Forest Thinning
  • Tree/Shrub Planting
  • Brush Management
  • Shoreline Restoriation
  • Invasive Species Mitigation

Contact Natalya Walker (District Forester) or Zach Evans (Farm Bill Specialist) to learn more. 

Compare program options

Additional Resources:

Tree Care

Firewise Homes/Cabins

Forestry Programs

Managing Woodlands for Wildlife


North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District

505 3rd St N, Ste A,
Virginia, MN 55792
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4 Monday-Friday and by appointment

Upcoming Board Meetings

Tuesday, December 20th at 10:30 a.m.
This meeting will be held in-person at the SWCD office;. A zoom link is available by contacting Anita at least 2 hours prior to the meeting. The public is welcome to attend. Board members will attend an open house for elected officials from 1-4 at the office.

View Meeting Schedule »
Minnesota Clean Air and Water Legacy Amendment