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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Forestry Board

Also known as:
Minnesota State Forestry Board
Active dates:1899-1925

The care, management, and preservation of the forest reserves, and the forests thereon, as well as future growths thereon, and all moneys appropriated in that behalf, or collected therefrom in any way, and all personal property acquired to carry out the object of this act, are hereby confided to and vested in said "Minnesota State Forestry Board."


The Minnesota State Forestry Board was created by legislative action in 1899 (Laws 1899 c214). The board appointed a secretary to be in charge of the books, who was to have maps made of all tracts of forest reserves. The state treasurer acted as the treasurer of the board. The board was put in charge of the care, management, and preservation of the forest reserves of the state, future growths, and all moneys appropriated or collected in that behalf. It was also responsible for ascertaining the best methods of reforesting cut-over lands, preventing forest fires, and conserving forest tracts around headwaters and watersheds.

In 1911 a new forestry law was passed and the composition of the board and its duties changed (Laws 1911 c125). The board also was put in charge of the state forest service and appointed a state forester who executed all the rules and regulations issued by the board pertaining to forestry and forest protection. The forester cooperated with the state auditor, the state Highway Commission, and other departments in matters of this nature. The board also established patrol districts under the 1911 law.

The board was abolished by the Reorganization Act of 1925 and all of its powers and duties were transferred to the commissioner of forestry and fire prevention of the Conservation Commission (Laws 1925 c426).


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.

Agency heads:

At its meeting May 2, 1911, the Board appointed a State Forester, Mr. Wm. T. Cox, a native of Pope County, Minnesota.

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
A century for the trees. Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, March/April 2011.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 2011.
Record last updated: 08/28/2019

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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