Welcome to the Northwoods Large Landscape Portal

The 64 million acre Northwoods landscape is the Headwaters of America, containing the headwaters of the Missisppi River, tributaries to the Great Lakes, and waters that drain north to the Arctic. These scenic recreation areas are within a day's drive (450 miles) of 60 million Americans, including population centers like Chicago and the Twin Cities. The forests of the Northwoods are critical for climate change. They include America's most carbon rich private forestlands, and offer a climate safe sanctuary for species migrating north in response to warming temperatures. In an era of increasing water scarcity and climate change, and with public clamor for outdoor recreation growing annually, the Northwoods are one of America's most strategically important landscapes.

Preserving the Upper Midwest's forests is crucial in the nation's efforts to address climate change. These forests:

  • give rise to rivers supplying water to tens of millions of people
  • support working forest and are among the nation's most effective in absorbing carbon from the atmosphere
  • include large unbroken stretches, allowing species to seek new habitat as the climate changes

As the character of the Northwoods itself changes, we must preserve these forests to address the broader climate challenge.

This Portal compiles data and information from multiple sources, creates a searchable database of maps and provides a data viewer to encourage collaboration through maps.

Northwoods Storymap:

The Northwoods story map provides a targeted overview of the Northwoods program, including photos and interactive maps related to Northwoods program priorities, completed projects, and future work.


Analysis Results and Maps

The maps below are static PDF maps for the area designated.

National Maps:

National Carbon Map:

This national map shows the average amount of carbon per acre in forests by state.

- 8.5x11 Map:

National Carbon Sequestration Map:

This national map shows estimates of forest carbon density across all forests in the contiguous United States.

- 8.5x11 Map:

Major Watersheds around the Northwoods:

This map shows the major watersheds and basins that are affected by the Northwoods.

- 8.5x11 Map:

National Recreation Context

This map shows the national recreation value of the Northwoods; it also highlights national long - distance trails, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and the many large cities that fall within a 450-mile buffer of the Northwoods.

- 8.5x11 Map:

Large Landscape Priority Areas:

This map shows The Trust for Public Land's large landscape priority areas.

- 8.5x11 Map:


Northwoods maps:


Interactive map viewer:

Northwoods Large Landscape Priority Viewer:

The Northwoods Large Landscape Priority Viewer provides an interactive map viewer of various data layers pertaining to the Northwoods large landscape focal area analysis. The viewer allows the user to view data, overlay multiple data layers, and create maps. We hope that this viewer will foster conversation and collaboration using maps to ensure a robust working landscape in the Northwoods.