2 Minnesota forests to join national Old-Growth Forest Network

(ABC 6 News) – Two northern Minnesota old-growth forests will be the first state forests to join the national Old-Growth Forest Network.

A nonprofit organization, Old-Growth Forest Network aims to protect and educate about native forests nationwide.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota has around 48,000 acres of protected old-growth forests.

“It provides unique habitats for native plants and animals, and important recreational and spiritual opportunities for Minnesotans,” Minnesota DNR Forest Ecologist Emily Peters said, “The DNR has a longstanding goal to protect this rare and important forest resource on state lands.”

Festivities celebrating Lost 40 will begin on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. with a short interpretive hike through the area.

The Lost 40’s 32-acre old-growth pine forest was preserved after loggers made a surveying error incorrectly identified the area as Coddington Lake in 1882.

The Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary will host educational activities on Friday, Oct. 13 throughout the day.

The Itasca Wilderness Sancturary, located within Itasca State Park, holds the honor of being Minnesota’s first National Natural Landmark since 1965 and holds 1,600 acres of old-growth forest.