PotlatchDeltic Corporation has completed the previously announced sale of 72,440 acres of forestland in northern and central Minnesota to The Conservation Fund for nearly $48 million.
The lands acquired by The Conservation Fund are in 14 counties— Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Morrison, St. Louis, and Wadena. Approximately 31,600 acres are located within the reservation boundaries of two bands of the Minnesota Ojibwe Tribe—the Bois Forte Band and the Leech Lake Band.
The Conservation Fund will manage the forestland, now called Minnesota’s Heritage Forest, for wildlife, water quality and sustainable timber harvesting, while continuing traditional recreational uses, including hunting and fishing. The national nonprofit dedicated to protecting environmentally and economically significant natural spaces will work with county, state, tribal, and local governments to determine the best conservation and sustainable management outcomes for the forestland, with the goal of transferring ownership to public and tribal entities over the next decade.
This outcome is the culmination of work over the last decade between The Conservation Fund and PotlatchDeltic to achieve both conservation and economic goals. With this transaction and others underway, this partnership has been the catalyst to conserve more than 200,000 acres in the State of Minnesota for various conservation purposes, including working forests, protection of important habitats and public access. The lumber mill in Bemidji will continue to be owned and operated by PotlatchDeltic as it has for nearly 30 years with logs supplied from Minnesota’s Heritage Forest, supporting the essential jobs required to deliver and process the trees.
The Conservation Fund will work with its local partners to secure federal and state funding, as well as private support in order to implement permanent conservation solutions on these lands and transfer ownership to primarily public and tribal entities over the next decade.
31,000 acres of Minnesota’s Heritage Forest are in the headwaters area of the Mississippi River, which supports more than 350 wildlife species.
PotlatchDeltic is a leading Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that owns 1.8 million acres of timberlands in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota and Mississippi.