News Release

Background on intentions for Cloquet Forestry Center

Orange and yellow sunrays poke over the distant horizon and through a stand of mature tree trunks on a winter morning at the Cloquet Forestry Center in northern Minnesota

At the request of Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa leaders, the University has been engaged in regular and ongoing dialogue about the Cloquet Forestry Center, which is wholly located within the Fond du Lac Reservation. While these conversations have included the possibility of returning the land, they have also focused on information about the University of Minnesota research being conducted on the land, how these research efforts may align with the research needs of the Band, program development and community engagement, history of the property and cultural uses, and more. 

These conversations have led to an initial plan to move forward collaboratively — with the Fond du Lac, the University and the State of Minnesota — to return to the Band the approximately 3,400 acres that house the Cloquet Forestry Center. There are still a number of steps that must be taken before a clear timeline for a transfer of ownership can be developed. Such a transfer would require the State to help facilitate. In addition, more consideration and negotiation are necessary to consider the effects this plan would have on the University’s research portfolio. Further details will be shared when they are finalized.

Additional information about the University’s intentions can be found in the public docket materials for the upcoming February meetings of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, specifically under Informational Items for the Board of Regents Finance & Operations Committee. 

With full understanding that there will be many questions about this plan and that some cannot currently be answered, this FAQ provides additional details about the history and context surrounding this decision and potential next steps.

Media Contacts

Jake Ricker

University Public Relations