Two renowned Minnesota old-growth forests — the Lost 40 Scientific and Natural Area in Itasca County and the Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary SNA in Clearwater County — will be the first in the state to join the national Old-Growth Forest Network. The network recognizes existing old-growth forests across the nation and highlights the importance of preserving these areas. “Minnesota has 48,000 acres of protected old-growth forest” Minnesota DNR Forest Ecologist Emily Peters said. …The DNR has a longstanding goal to protect this rare and important forest resource on state lands.” The Old-Growth Forest Network is a nonprofit working to connect people with nature by creating a voluntary national network of protected, publicly accessible forests. The network’s goal is to identify and ensure the preservation and recognition of at least one forest in every county in the U.S. where forests grow.