State Forests

Smoky Hills State Forest


Forest Landscape: The terrain of the forest varies from rolling to moderately steep slopes. Clay-types soils are prevalent in the southerly part of the forest. Loamy to better sands occur on most of the remaining land. The Shell River is the dominate body of water, and numerous small shallow lakes dot the area.

Management Activities: Minnesota's state forests were established to produce timber and other forest crops, provide outdoor recreation, protect watersheds, and perpetuate rare and distinctive species of native flora and fauna. Management activities in Smoky Hills State Forest include timber harvesting, reforestation, wildlife habitat improvement, and recreational development. The annual allowable timber harvest for Smoky Hills State Forest is 311 acres, of which 117 acres are aspen, 84 acres are other hardwoods, 80 acres are jack pine, and 30 acres are other softwoods. During an average year the harvest will include 50 acres of aspen, 55 acres of other hardwoods, 80 acres of jack pine, and 15 acres of other softwoods. Aspen and other hardwoods are usually allowed to regenerate naturally. However, some of the poorer sites are converted to pine or spruce. Virtually all pine cutovers must be planted; about 80 acres were done annually.

History: The forest was established in 1935 to perpetuate forest management and fire protection. One thousand acres of tax-forfeited land was acquired from Becker County on 1936. This was followed by another 3,866 acres in 1948 and a final 6,043 acres in 1967. There are now 25,278 acres of land within the boundaries.

Acres: 25,396

Year Estab: 1935


Rare Species Guide:


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