Preserve Wetlands and Forests

Preserving wetlands and forests is a critical action for the future of Minnesota. A wetland can range from a slight depression that holds water only after spring runoff to a forested swamp with saturated peat soils. Unlike most other habitats, wetlands directly improve other ecosystems. Benefits of wetlands include erosion control, flood control, groundwater recharge and discharge, water quality, habitat for rare species, as well as recreation and economic value. Due to the loss of many wetlands, the Federal government and Minnesota have established regulations to protect remaining wetlands. 

Healthy forests are a key element in the fight against pollution and global warming, but like other forests in North America, however, Minnesota’s forests are in trouble. Minnesota’s forests supply timber products, provide wildlife habitat, protect watersheds, provide food and medicine, absorb CO2, offer recreational opportunities, as well as provide aesthetic and cultural benefits. Due in part to destructive logging practices, slash burning, wildfires, modern harvesting practices, toxic mining, modern development, and climatic shifts, Minnesota’s forests are disappearing. As these areas become fragmented and disappear, so do the benefits they provide. 

Even with such a diverse group of professionals working on preservation issues, the general public still has a considerable role to play. Minnesotans purchase forest products daily, elect officials to make policy decisions on wetland and forest use, and recreate in these areas.

How you can do your part in preserving wetlands and forests:

– Elect officials to make policy decisions in the preservation of these lands

– Avoid wetlands whenever possible.

– If you must disturb a wetland or forest area, minimize disruption of the soil, vegetation and hydrology.

– Decrease use of daily forest products

– Recreate responsibly in forest areas

Learn More about Preserving Wetlands and Forests:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Minnesota’s 2020 State Forest Action Plan

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