Story | 02/16/2023 09:44:50 | 3 min Read time

Passion for forests – how the UPM Forest Action programme helps enhance biodiversity in Minnesota

The UPM Forest Action programme outlines an ambitious agenda to maximize the positive impact of our forestry operations by the end of the decade. The programme brings all UPM’s forest responsibility goals and actions under the same umbrella and promotes the implementation of actions in all our wood sourcing areas: Northern Europe, Central Europe, the United States and Uruguay.

Long history of smart forest management

UPM Blandin Forestry, located in the town of Grand Rapids in north-central Minnesota, is responsible for supplying UPM Blandin paper mill with the timber it requires and for sustainable management of the forests owned by UPM in the USA. UPM owns and manages over 188,000 acres (75,000 ha) of forest land in the USA making it one of the largest private owners in Minnesota. The UPM Forest Action programme guides work also there.

We have seen the forest thrive, grow, and become better than when we first harvested it.

UPM Blandin has been recognised as a leader in the implementation of ecological forestry through their SmartForestry℠ methods for over 20 years. Together, UPM Blandin’s Foresters and Forest Ecologist utilise a system of forestry which emphasises using the science of forest ecology to drive forest management decisions.

— The Forest Action programme enables us to set overreaching responsibility goals for our forest management and wood sourcing. It also allows us to put added emphasis on the sustainability of operations, states Scott Juidici, the General Manager of UPM Blandin.

The five programme themes in the Forest Action programme are: climate, biodiversity, water, soil, and social contribution. 

— Our programme encompasses all five of the core themes, with heavy emphasis on managing diverse forest ecosystems. UPM has the resources to improve forests and we really share passion for pushing things forward, says Juidici.

Protecting biodiversity to combat climate change

UPM Blandin’s large-scale restoration of coniferous forests, strategic use of multi-aged harvesting techniques and promotion of climate-adapted tree species have helped all forms of life thrive.

— We have seen the forest thrive, grow, and become better than when we first harvested it.

Biodiversity not only helps promote healthy forest ecosystems, but also has a crucial role in the protection of our planet, as biodiversity loss and climate change are strongly interlinked. Forest’s high biodiversity means better resilience against environmental changes. 

— It is not only about our livelihood. It is what we need to combat climate change. The resources of the forest have to be sustained for generations to come. Without companies like UPM, the forest we know today will be lost, Juidici states.

The forest is a matter of the heart for Juidici, being born and raised in the Upper Midwest, known for its towering pines and fish-filled lakes.

— I have spent my entire life in the forest whether it was fishing, hiking, or gathering berries and mushrooms. Forests mean much more to me than just a source of income or having the ability to go to work and have a job.


Read more about the UPM Forest Action programme and download the Forest Action report here.

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