John Rajala

Minnesota Features

March 13, 2019

Taylor Anderson|Lake Time Magazine

John Rajala

CONSERVATIONIST, REFORESTER

John Rajala is the owner of Minnesota Timber & Millwork, part of a five-generation family-owned and -operated lumber business. Their entire product line is harvested from northern Minnesota forests, processed in their historic sawmill, then dried and finished in their own millwork plant. John and his team specialize in selective timber harvest practices and restoration forestry. The Rajala family have made incredible strides in re-establishing healthy old-growth stands of our MN state tree, the White Pine.

Red Canoe Cre8tive

Why Minnesota?
I was born here. I was raised in its Northwoods. Northern Minnesota is at the crossroads of three major forest types which are in transition. This transition offers both challenges and opportunities to forest-based communities. Perks? Too many to mention. I belong here and never want to leave.

Is there a piece of advice you've received that brought you to who you are and the meaningful work you do today?
My father, Jack, told me with tears in his eyes in the days before he died that we did not acquire and own/manage northern Minnesota forest land purely for personal financial gain. "Hold it together as long as you can," he said. That punctuated a lifetime of him teaching me that the natural forest is more important than our checkbook balances and our sawmills.


To learn more about John Rajala and other inspiring change-makers in Lake Time Magazine, you can purchase or subscribe online HERE and support this independent publication. By becoming a member you would receive the latest issues PLUS great Lake + Co. Shop perks!