Hunters, trappers, anglers and wildlife watchers in Wabasha, Winona and Olmsted counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Whitewater Wildlife Management Area staff.
Wildlife Supervisor Don Nelson along with three full-time staff oversees more than 28,000 aces of state-owned land in the rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota. Along with neighboring Whitewater State Park, this popular hunting, fishing and wildlife watching destination hosts an estimated 500,000 visits annually. It is particularly popular with wild turkey hunters in spring and deer and small game hunters in autumn.
For Nelson and his staff, core work includes preserving, protecting and managing wildlife habitat, and administering an antlerless-only deer hunt within a 2,300-acre state game refuge. Preserving habitat is increasingly difficult, in part, due to a growing inability to keep buckthorn and other invasive species in check.
A prescribed burn to benefit habitat at the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area.