Sustainable Forest Resources Act

Minnesota Statutes 1998, Chapter 89A.

Copyright 1998 by the Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota. 

This chapter, as added by Laws 1995, chapter 220, sections 78 to 87, is repealed by Laws 1995, chapter 220, section 141, paragraph (b),  effective June 30, 1999. Laws 1995, chapter 220, section 142. 


      89A.01 Definitions. 

     Subdivision 1.    Applicability.  Unless the language or context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended, the following terms, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meanings given.

     Subd. 2.    Advisory committee.  "Advisory committee" means the forest resources research advisory committee established under section 89A.08. 

     Subd. 3.    Biological diversity.  "Biological diversity" means the variety and abundance of species, their genetic composition, and the communities and landscapes in which they occur, including the ecological structures, functions, and processes occurring at all of these levels. 

     Subd. 4.    Commissioner.  "Commissioner" means the commissioner of natural resources or agent of the commissioner.

     Subd. 5.    Council.  "Council" means the Minnesota forest resources council established by section 89A.03.

     Subd. 6.    Department.  "Department" means the department of natural resources. 

     Subd. 7.    Forest resources.  "Forest resources" has the meaning given in section 89.001, subdivision 8. 

     Subd. 8.    Guidelines.  "Guidelines" means the comprehensive timber harvesting and forest management guidelines developed under section 89A.05. 

     Subd. 9.    Landscape.  "Landscape" means a heterogenous land area composed of interacting sustainable forest resources that are defined by natural features and socially defined attributes. 

     Subd. 10.    Landscape-level.  "Landscape-level" means  typically long-term or broad-based efforts that may require  extensive analysis or planning over large areas that may involve 
  or require coordination across land ownerships. 

     Subd. 11.    Regional committee.  "Regional committee"  means a regional forest resources committee established under  section 89A.06. 

     Subd. 12.    Site-level.  "Site-level" means efforts   affecting operational procedures used in the planning and 
  implementation of timber harvesting and forest management   activities on an individual site or local scale. 

     Subd. 13.    Sustainable.  "Sustainable" means meeting   the needs of the present without compromising the ability of   future generations to meet their own needs. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 78 

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      89A.02 Policy. 

     It is the policy of the state to: 

     (1) pursue the sustainable management, use, and protection   of the state's forest resources to achieve the state's economic,   environmental, and social goals; 

     (2) encourage cooperation and collaboration between public   and private sectors in the management of the state's forest   resources; 

     (3) recognize and consider forest resource issues,   concerns, and impacts at the site and landscape levels; and 

     (4) recognize the broad array of perspectives regarding the   management, use, and protection of the state's forest resources,   and establish processes and mechanisms that seek and incorporate   these perspectives in the planning and management of the state's   forest resources. 

     Nothing in this chapter abolishes, repeals, or negates any   existing authorities, policies, programs, or activities of the   commissioner or other statutory authorities related to managing   and protecting state's forest resources. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 79 

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      89A.03 Minnesota forest resources council. 

     Subdivision 1.    Membership. The Minnesota forest   resources council has 13 members appointed by the governor and   one member appointed by the Indian affairs council.  The council   membership appointed by the governor must include the following   individuals: 

     (1) a representative from an organization representing   environmental interests within the state; 

     (2) a representative from an organization representing the   interests of management of game species; 

     (3) a representative from a conservation organization; 

     (4) a representative from an association representing   forest products industry within the state; 

     (5) a commercial logging contractor active in a forest   product association; 

     (6) a representative from a statewide association   representing the resort and tourism industry; 

     (7) a faculty or researcher of a Minnesota research or   higher educational institution; 

     (8) an owner of nonindustrial, private forest land of 40   acres or more; 

     (9) an agricultural woodlot owner; 

     (10) a representative from the department; 

     (11) a county land commissioner who is a member of the   Minnesota association of county land ommissioners; 

     (12) a representative from the United States Forest Service  unit with land management responsibility in Minnesota; and 

     (13) a representative from a labor organization with  membership having an interest in forest resource issues. 

     Subd. 2.    Purpose.  The council shall develop   recommendations to the governor and to federal, state, county,   and local governments with respect to forest resource policies   and practices that result in the sustainable management, use,   and protection of the state's forest resources.  The policies   and practices must: 

     (1) acknowledge the interactions of complex sustainable   forest resources, multiple ownership patterns, and local to   international economic forces; 

     (2) give equal consideration to the long-term economic,   ecological, and social needs and limits of the state's forest   resources; 

     (3) foster the productivity of the state's forests to   provide a diversity of sustainable benefits at site-levels and 

     (4) enhance the ability of the state's forest resources to   provide future benefits and services; 

     (5) foster no net loss of forest land in Minnesota: 

     (6) encourage appropriate mixes of forest cover types and   age classes within landscapes to promote biological diversity   and viable forest-dependent fish and wildlife habitats; 

     (7) encourage collaboration and coordination with multiple   constituencies in planning and managing the state's forest   resources; and 

     (8) address the environmental impacts and their mitigations   as recommended in the generic environmental impact statement on   timber harvesting. 

     Subd. 3.    Council meetings.  The council shall   establish procedures for conducting its meetings in accordance   with section 471.705 that include provisions for seeking and   incorporating public input. 

     Subd. 4.    Council officers and staff.  The council   shall elect a chair from among its members.  The council may   employ an executive director and administrative assistant.   Technical expertise that will enable the council to carry out   its functions must be provided to the council by those interests   represented on the council. 

     Subd. 5.    Membership regulation.  Terms, compensation,   nomination, appointment, and removal of council members are   governed by section 15.059.  Section 15.059, subdivision 5, does   not govern the expiration date of the council. 

     Subd. 6.    Report.  By January 1, 1997, the council   shall prepare a report to the governor and legislature on the   status of the state's forest resources, and strategic directions   to provide for their management, use, and protection.   Information generated by the reporting requirements in this   chapter must be incorporated in the council's report.  To the   extent possible, the council's report must also identify the   activities and accomplishments of various programs that directly   affect the state's forest resources. 

     Subd. 7.    Review of forest resources plan and   assessment.  The council shall undertake a review of the 
  forest resource management plan and forest assessment   requirements contained in section 89.011, and report to the   commissioner no later than July 1, 1996, on the appropriateness   and effectiveness of these requirements, including   recommendations for enhancing existing forest resource planning   processes.  The council shall review draft statewide and   district forest resource planning documents, and incorporate the 
  findings, including any recommendation, of such reviews in its   biennial report specified in subdivision 6. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 80; 1998 c 401 s 30 

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      89A.04 Partnership. 

     It is the policy of the state to encourage forest   landowners, forest managers, and loggers to establish a 
  partnership in which the implementation of council   recommendations can occur in a timely and coordinated manner   across ownerships.  The partnership shall serve as a forum for   discussing operational implementation issues and problem solving   related to forest resources management and planning concerns,   and be responsive to the recommendations of the council.  This   partnership shall also actively foster collaboration and 
  coordination among forest managers and landowners in addressing   landscape-level operations and concerns.  In fulfilling its   responsibilities as identified in this chapter, the council   shall seek input from and consult with the partnership. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 81 

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      89A.05 Timber harvesting and forest management    guidelines. 

     Subdivision 1.    Development.  The council shall   coordinate the development of comprehensive timber harvesting   and forest management guidelines.  The guidelines must address   the water, air, soil, biotic, recreational, and aesthetic   resources found in forest ecosystems by focusing on those   impacts commonly associated with applying site-level forestry   practices.  The guidelines must reflect a range of practical and 
  sound practices based on the best available scientific   information, and be integrated to minimize conflicting 
  recommendations while being easy to understand and implement.   Best management practices previously developed for forest   management must be incorporated into the guidelines.  The   council shall periodically review and, when deemed necessary,   update the guidelines. 

     Subd. 2.    Economic considerations.  Before the   implementation of timber harvesting and forest management   guidelines, new site-level practices and landscape-level   programs, the council shall analyze the costs of new site-level   practices and landscape-level programs.  When the analysis   concludes that new landscape-level programs and site-level   practices will result in adverse economic effects, including   decreased timber supply and negative effects on tourism,   opportunities to offset those effects must be explored.  The 
  council shall also: 

     (1) identify and quantify forest and timberland acreages   that will no longer be available for harvest; and 

     (2) encourage public resource agencies to provide   sustainable, predictable supplies of high-quality forest 
  resource benefits, including timber supplies that are consistent   with their multiple mandates and diverse management objectives.   These benefits should be provided by public resource agencies in 
  proportion to their forest land's capability to do so. 

     Subd. 3.    Application.  The timber harvesting and   forest management guidelines are voluntary.  Prior to their   actual use, the council shall develop guideline implementation   goals for each major forest land ownership category.  If the   information developed as a result of the monitoring programs   established in section 89A.07 indicates the implementation goals   for the guidelines are not being met and the council determines   significant adverse impacts are occurring, the council shall   recommend to the governor additional measures to address those   impacts.  The council shall incorporate the recommendations as 
  part of the council's biennial report required by section   89A.03, subdivision 6. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 82 

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      89A.06 Landscape-level forest resource planning and    coordination. 

     Subdivision 1.    Framework.  The council shall   establish a framework that will enable long-range strategic 
  planning and landscape coordination to occur, to the extent   possible, across all forested regions of the state and across   all ownerships.  The framework must include: 

     (1) identification of the landscapes within which 
  long-range strategic planning of forest resources can occur,   provided that the landscapes must be delineated based on broadly   defined ecological units and existing classification systems, 
  yet recognize existing political and administrative boundaries   and planning processes; 

     (2) a statement of principles and goals for landscape-based   forest resource planning; and 

     (3) identification of a general process by which   landscape-based forest resource planning can occur, provided   that the process must give considerable latitude to design   planning processes that fit the unique needs and resources of   each landscape; reflect a balanced consideration of the   economic, social, and environmental conditions and needs of each   landscape; and interface and establish formats that are 
  compatible with other landscape-based forest resource plans. 

     Subd. 2.    Regional forest resource committees.  To   foster landscape-based forest resource planning, the council   shall establish regional forest resource committees.  The 
  regional committees must: 

     (1) include representative interests in a particular region   that are committed to and involved in landscape planning and   coordination activities; 

     (2) serve as a forum for landowners, managers, and   representative interests to discuss landscape forest resource   issues; 

     (3) identify and implement an open and public process   whereby landscape-based strategic planning of forest resources   can occur; 

     (4) identify sustainable forest resource goals for the   landscape and strategies to achieve those goals; and 

     (5) provide a regional perspective to the council with   respect to council activities. 

     Subd. 3.    Regional committee officers and staff.  Each   regional committee shall elect a chair from among its members.   The council shall ensure regional committees have sufficient   staff resources to carry out their mission as defined in this   section. 

     Subd. 4.    Report.  Each regional committee shall   report to the council its work activities and accomplishments. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 83 

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      89A.07 Monitoring. 

     Subdivision 1.    Forest resource monitoring.  The   commissioner shall establish a program for monitoring broad   trends and conditions in the state's forest resources at   statewide, landscape, and site levels.  The council shall   provide oversight and program direction for the development and   implementation of the monitoring program.  To the extent   possible, the information generated under the monitoring program   must be reported in formats consistent with the landscape   regions used to accomplish the planning and coordination   activities specified in section 89A.06.  To the extent possible,   the program must incorporate data generated by existing resource   monitoring programs.  The commissioner shall report to the   council information on current conditions and recent trends in   the state's forest resources. 

     Subd. 2.    Practices and compliance monitoring.  The   commissioner shall establish a program for monitoring   silvicultural practices and application of the timber harvesting   and forest management guidelines at statewide, landscape, and   site levels.  The council shall provide oversight and program   direction for the development and implementation of the   monitoring program.  To the extent possible, the information 
  generated by the monitoring program must be reported in formats   consistent with the landscape regions used to accomplish the   planning and coordination activities specified in section   89A.06.  The commissioner shall report to the council on the   nature and extent of silvicultural practices used, and   compliance with the timber harvesting and forest management   guidelines. 

     Subd. 3.    Effectiveness monitoring.  The commissioner,   in cooperation with other research and land management   organizations, shall evaluate the effectiveness of practices to   mitigate impacts of timber harvesting and forest management   activities on the state's forest resources.  The council shall 
  provide oversight and program direction for the development and  implementation of this monitoring program. 

     Subd. 4.    Other studies and programs.  The council   shall monitor the implementation of other programs, formal   studies, and initiatives affecting Minnesota's forest resources. 

     Subd. 5.    Citizen concerns.  The council shall   facilitate the establishment of a process to accept comments 
  from the public on negligent timber harvesting or forest   management practices.  Comments must also be directed to the   organization administering the certification program. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 84 

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      89A.08 Research advisory committee. 

     Subdivision 1.    Establishment.  The council shall   appoint a forest resources research advisory committee.  The   committee must consist of representatives of: 

     (1) the college of natural resources, University of   Minnesota; 

     (2) the natural resources research institute, University of   Minnesota; 

     (3) the department; 

     (4) the north central forest experiment station, United   States Forest Service; and 

     (5) other organizations as deemed appropriate by the   council. 

     Subd. 2.    Purpose.  The purpose of the advisory   committee is to foster the identification and undertaking of 
  priority forest resources research activities by encouraging: 

     (1) collaboration between organizations with   responsibilities for conducting forest resources research; 

     (2) linkages between researchers in different disciplines   in conducting forest resources research; and 

     (3) interaction and communication between researchers and   practitioners in the development and use of forest resources   research. 

     Subd. 3.    Research assessment.  The advisory committee   shall periodically undertake an assessment of strategic  directions in forest resources research.  The assessment must be   based on input provided by administrators, researchers,   practitioners, and the general public, and include: 

     (1) an assessment of the current status of forestry   resources research in the state; 

     (2) an identification of important forest resource issues   in need of research; 

     (3) an identification of priority forest research   activities whose results will enable a better understanding of 
  site-level and landscape-level impacts resulting from timber   harvesting and forest management activities; and 

     (4) an assessment of the progress toward addressing the   priority forest resources research needs identified. 

     The forest resources research assessment must be made   widely available to the research community, forest managers and   users, and the public. 

     Subd. 4.    Research delivery.  Based on the priority   forest resources research activities identified in subdivision   3, the advisory committee shall promote these research needs and   the dissemination of findings to the research community, forest   managers and users, and the public. 

     Subd. 5.    Research and practitioner linkages.  The   advisory committee shall periodically facilitate forums to   increase communications between the individuals and   organizations conducting forest resources research and the users   of the research. 

     Subd. 6.    Report.  The advisory committee shall report   to the council its accomplishments in fulfilling the 
  responsibilities identified in this section. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 85 

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      89A.09 Interagency information cooperative. 

     Subdivision 1.    Establishment.  The commissioner shall   coordinate the establishment of an interagency information   cooperative.  Members of the cooperative must include: 

     (1) the department; 

     (2) the land management information center; 

     (3) the Minnesota association of county land commissioners; 

     (4) the United States Forest Service; and 

     (5) other organizations as deemed appropriate by the   commissioner. 

     Subd. 2.    Purpose.  The purposes of the cooperative   are to: 

     (1) coordinate the development and use of forest resources   data in the state; 

     (2) promote the development of statewide guidelines and   common language to enhance the ability of public and private   organizations and institutions to share forest resources data; 

     (3) promote the development of information systems that   support access to important forest resources data; 

     (4) promote improvement in the accuracy, reliability, and   statistical soundness of fundamental forest resources data; 

     (5) promote linkages and integration of forest resources   data to other natural resource information; 

     (6) promote access and use of forest resources data and   information systems in decision-making by a variety of public   and private organizations; 

     (7) promote expanding the capacity and reliability of   forest growth, succession, and other types of ecological models;   and 

     (8) conduct a needs assessment for improving the quality   and quantity of information systems. 

     Subd. 3.    Report.  The information cooperative shall   report to the council its accomplishments in fulfilling the   responsibilities identified in this section. 
     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 86 


      89A.10 Continuing education; certification. 

     It is the policy of the state to encourage timber   harvesters and forest resource professionals to establish 
  voluntary certification and continuing education programs within   their respective professions.  The council shall, where   appropriate, facilitate the development of these programs. 

     HIST: 1995 c 220 s 87

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