The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday it designated an additional 2,067 acres of newly acquired land as part of 22 existing and new Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) spread across 19 counties.
That land is in addition to the 1.3 million acres currently in WMAs! In total, there are about 1,500 WMAs located in 86 of the 87 counties in Minnesota.
Of course, the benefit to the public is more protection of more high-quality wildlife habitat and more opportunities to hunt, trap, hike, cross country ski, and watch wildlife!
“These WMA lands provide important habitat for game and nongame wildlife species,” said Ed Boggess, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. “Enhancing our system of public land strengthens habitat, as well as our Minnesota outdoors tradition by making sure everyone has access regardless of a person’s connections or how much property they own.”
Conservation groups including Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and The Nature Conservancy, and individuals who partner with the DNR, played a major role in helping to acquire and protect these new WMA lands.
“We are thankful for the work of these groups and individuals for helping current and future generations continue to enjoy these lands,” Boggess said.
The DNR says priority has been placed on enhancing contiguous parcels of WMA land to provide important, high-quality habitat. As public land, it can be managed for the long term and allow fish and wildlife populations to cope with changing environmental conditions.
Of the 2,067 new acres of WMA land, 1,297 acres were paid for with funds from the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and approved by the state legislature. The Outdoor Heritage Fund is one of several created by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the constitution in 2008.
Those looking to find existing public hunting, fishing and trail access can use the DNR Recreation Compass feature online, or can purchase DNR Public Recreation Information Maps (PRIM) online here.
The PRIM maps may also be purchased online. These newly dedicated WMA lands will be posted and developed over the spring and summer months next year and will be fully ready for the 2016 hunting season. The newly designated WMA lands will be added to the Recreation Compass and the PRIM maps in the future.
- Ground House WMA, 161 acres, Mille Lacs County.
- Phelps Lake WMA, 166 acres, Rice County.
- Carlos Avery WMA, 30 acres, Anoka County.
- Vogel WMA, 85 acres, Brown County.
- Janet Johnson Memorial WMA, 108 acres, Chisago County.
- Old Red Lake Trail WMA, 120 acres, Clearwater County.
- Vermillion WMA, 364 acres, Dakota County.
- Wo Wacintanka WMA, 5 acres, Freeborn County.
- Oxbow WMA, 97 acres, Jackson County.
- Devil’s Playground WMA, 40 acres, Kittson County.
- Twin Lakes WMA, 10 acres, Kittson County.
- Caerulean WMA, 73 acres, Lac qui Parle County.
- Cordova WMA, 73 acres, Le Sueur County.
- Pembina WMA, 31 acres, Pennington County.
- Delhi WMA, 67 acres, Redwood County.
- Nereson WMA, 280 acres, Roseau County.
- Edward Raymond Mohs WMA, 96 acres, Stearns County.
- Benson WMA, 138 acres, Stevens County.
- Dolven WMA, 30 acres, Stevens County.
- Whitewater WMA, 0.4 acres, Winona County.
- Minnesota Veterans WMA, 31 acres, Wright County.
- Pelican Lake WMA, 62 acres, Wright County.
For more information about WMAs, visit the wildlife management area page.
(Top Photo: Pelican Lake WMA courtesy of DNR)
One Response to “Minnesota DNR Designates New Wildlife Lands For Public Use”
Sandra Prinzing, Enrichment Assistant Faribault Park & Recreation
We need contact info for someone from your organization to communicate with as we get closer to our Annual Fish Camp Day in January. Please e-mail a name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Thank you for all you do! Sandy