2018 Webinar: Changes to the SFIA Program: What it means for landowners and service providers

As a Minnesota woodland owner, you may qualify for an incentive program called the Sustainable Forest Incentives Act (SFIA). The program pays you a set dollar amount per acre annually on eligible lands for practicing good forest stewardship and agreeing not to develop your land for a specified period of time. There were some recent law changes made to SFIA that are going into effect in 2018. Minnesota Department of Natural Resource Private Forest Management Coordinator, John Carlson, will go over these new changes and how it will affect both current and future enrollees in the program.

Date: Tuesday January 16, 2018 from noon to 1pm (Central)
Speaker: John Carlson, MN DNR Forestry, Private Forest Management/SFIA Coordinator (john.c.carlson@state.mn.us)

Links and resources from the webinar:

Follow-up on the Q&A period from John Carlson:


  • Change of land use or new building structures will be a primary focus of the monitoring.
  • It will also be an opportunity to evaluate if and how the forest management plan is being implemented.
  • DNR will be doing the monitoring and will report results back to Department of Revenue who will handle the penalties if necessary.
  • All details are still to be determined.


  • Department of Revenue is responsible for putting together the language on the covenant.
  •  8,20, and 50 years is the minimum amount of time your land is bound by the convent restrictions. The covenant does not automatically expire when the 8, 20, or 50 year enrollment period has been met. To withdraw from SFIA you need to submit a written request ½ of the covenant length years (4,10,and 25) before you can withdraw.

Transfer of ownership

  • 501(c), or non-profit, organizations still need to follow the covenant restrictions if acquiring SFIA enrolled land.


  • Every County Planning & Zoning Department is different. If they are aware of the SFIA enrolled land they should not be issuing any building permits that are on SFIA enrolled land. There is an exception for certain structures if they are under 300 square feet, are not used for overnight purposes or are used exclusively for forest management purposes. Go to the MN DNR SFIA webpage for more info.
  • You cannot change or alter your SFIA acres when changing to a 20 or 50 year covenant.

Details on our entire 2018 webinar series.

Contact Us

Eli Sagor, SFEC Program Manager
esagor@umn.edu | 218-409-6115