Fergus Falls area wildlife
Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in Clay, Wilkin and Otter Tail counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Fergus Falls area wildlife staff.
Area Supervisor Don Schultz, two full-time staff and two seasonal laborers oversee an area that includes 2.6 million acres of public and private land. This includes 64 state Wildlife Management Areas totaling 29,827 acres. The staff is also responsible for two waterfowl refuges, four state duck refuges, two designated waterfowl feeding and resting areas, two wildlife sanctuaries and four state game refuges.
This work area features prairies on the west and south and forests on the north and east. It includes a diverse habitat base of grasslands, wetlands, lakes and forests that are intermixed with agricultural land.
At work for you
Maintaining grassland habitat on a Fergus Falls area WMA.
- Designating two wildlife management lakes totaling 974 acres; installing water control structures and managing water levels to improve habitat.
- Installing a 120-acre moist soil unit on one WMA in 2016 and managing water levels to enhance waterfowl and shorebird migration habitat.
- Working with partners to acquire key parcels of land to be included in the WMA system including purchasing 160 additional WMA acres in the prairie corridor in 2014.
- Monitoring, maintaining or improving 114 user facilities (parking lots, gates, trails, etc.); maintained 6 miles of access road; and monitoring 287 miles of WMA boundary.
- Responding to numerous nuisance wildlife cases, including bear, deer, turkey and goose crop depredations and offering technical assistance and abatement materials to control depredation.
- Completing controlled grassland burns on more than 1,200 acres on 13 WMAs and assisting on another eight burns on other public and private lands under easement during 2016.