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Assisting woodland landowners with management practices

Forests & Woodlands

The woodlands found within Morison SWCD and it's connected watersheds are part of an important transition zone in our state. Our forests serve as a giant natural sponge, filtering and trapping stormwater. The deep root systems of woodlands retains soil, soaks up water and filters out contaminants. Woodlands protect both groundwater and surface water quality by properly infiltrating excess stormwater before it enters streams, rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers.


Private Woodlands

43% of the forested lands in Minnesota are privately owned! Properly managing that much land is a huge responsibility. But landowners don't have to do it alone... Morison SWCD is well prepared to assist.

The three primary goals that landowners have for their woodlands are economic, recreational, or ecological. Each of these goals can be managed together to bring added value to the landowner, the forest itself, and ultimately to the watershed. We have foresters that can provide insight on forest management practices.

Forests are good for everyone

Proper forest management not only benefits landowners, but stacks benefits for their neighbors, the region, and the watershed. For example a healthy forest will prevent soil erosion, provide habitat, income, contribute to water quality and clean air, and add to the overall beauty of the region. Without forests each of these aspects suffer.


This positive side effects of woodlands compound benefits for everyone.


How forests protect our water quality


Forests serve as a giant natural sponge, soaking up large amounts of storm water runoff. Woodlands also filter out contaminants from excess storm water. The root system and vegetative base of woodlands protect both groundwater and surface water like lakes and rivers.


The “Disturbance” of land has an affect on its ability to slow down and filter storm water runoff. As woodlands are removed or developed / converted to other uses the soil looses its ability to retain and filter water. Most of the excess storm water runs directly into waterways without slowing down or being filtered.


The result is excess contaminants and sediments in our waters.


Studies show that when more than 25%of the forest within a watershed is converted to other land uses, the water quality, begins to decline. Much of the decline is due to greater amounts of phosphorus entering the water.


Because of water quality decline at 25% land disturbance, the protection goals for a watershed are then 75%. If this forest land cover percentage can be maintained, a certain quality of water can usually be reached.


District Forester

Hi, I'm Lewis Noska

I can help find ways to accomplish your goals for your wooded property. There are plenty of management options, and you are in control of which ones to use.

District Forester
- (218) 341-4911

Email -

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