In 1899, the board had nine members: the chief fire warden of the state; the chairman of the horticultural department of the University of Minnesota; and seven citizens recommended by the regents of the university, the State Forestry Association, the State Agricultural Society, the Minnesota Horticultural Society, and the State Game and Fish Commission.
The first members of the Forestry Board were:
- Captain Judson N. Cross, Minneapolis
- Judge Greenleaf Clark, St. Paul
- A. L. Cole, Motley
- John Cooper, St. Cloud
- 0. M. Lord, Minnesota City
- Judge William Mitchell, Winona
- Frederick Weyerhaeuser, St. Paul
- General C. C. Andrews, Chief Fire Warden, as ex-officio member
- Samuel B. Green, Head of the Horticultural Department, University of Minnesota, as ex-officio member
At the first meeting of the Board, Captain Judson N. Cross was elected president, Judge Greenleaf Clark, vice-president, and General C. C. Andrews, secretary.
Some modifications to board membership were made in 1911: the board's membership remained at nine, but its ex officio members were changed to the director of the forestry school and the dean of the agricultural college of the University of Minnesota.