Karlstad area wildlife
Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in the Kittson, Marshall and Roseau county area benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Karlstad area wildlife staff.
Area Supervisor Ruth Anne Franke, two full-time staff and two seasonal laborers oversee an area that includes 1.2 million acres of public and private land. This includes 27 Wildlife Management Areas totaling more than 95,000 acres and nearly 2,000 acres of state trust fund land.
Karlstad staff work with area farmers to administer 24 cooperative farming agreements or leases that utilize more than 11,000 acres of state-owned or administered land for conservation grazing, haying and row crops. They also work with partners ? including The Nature Conservancy, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation – to leverage grant dollars and maximize habitat work on WMAs.
At work for you
Karlstad area wildlife staff conduct a presscribed burn to help maintain the health of unique tallgrass aspen parkland habitat.
- Burning an average of nearly 5,000 acres of tallgrass aspen parkland habitat per year. That?s about one-third of the acres DNR has identified as necessary to maintain the habitat in a healthy state.
- Annually monitoring and controlling known noxious weed infestations and buckthorn on over 300 acres of WMA and surveying thousands more acres for infestations.
- Mechanically removing brush on an average of 250 to 300 acres per year.
- Annually maintaining and improving WMA roads and facilities (parking lots, primitive campsites, water accesses, and one viewing platform). In 2015, crews repaired seven miles of WMA road and refurbished the Twin Lakes WMA viewing platform.
- Mowing an average of 30 miles of interior WMA roads and trails annually.
- Managing a portion of Minnesota's elk herd including: habitat management; annual hunts; annual aerial surveys; nearly 300 acres of private and public land food plots; and responding to depredation issues. The elk hunts are once in a lifetime and only open to residents only. Karlstad staff participated in the drafting of new northwest Minnesota elk plan for the years 2016-2019.