Improving the management of over 175,000 acres of forest in northern Minnesota to increase carbon storage levels.
The UPM Blandin Paper Company is conducting improved forest management practices on 187,876 acres of land in northern Minnesota, 173,386 acres of which is covered in native hardwood forest. The project area land was acquired and consolidated progressively over the past century, with significant acquisitions in the 1950s through the 1990s. The most recent acquisition occurred in 2008 via a land exchange between UPM Blandin and Itasca County. Parcels of the Blandin forest have been harvested for timber since early in the 20th century, when spruce bogs were considered the key element for wood supply. There is evidence on the property of old logging camps dating back to 1880‐1920. In 2010, UPM Blandin recorded a perpetual conservation easement that formalizes and ensures the continued application of Blandin's Smart Forestry practices.
Under the easement, Blandin has committed to maintaining the diversity of natural forest communities, aligning management with ecological regimes, and reducing harvest impacts in perpetuity. Significant areas of old growth forest and watercourse buffers are excluded from active management, which increases carbon sequestration and provides critical habitat for rare species such as the northern long-eared bat and the golden-winged warbler.
Photography credit to Richard Hamilton Smith.