|A prescribed burn at Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area.|
At 25,000 acres, the Carlos Avery wildlife management area is one of the largest in the state. Located within about 45 minutes of Minneapolis and St. Paul, it's also one of the busiest.
With reduced resources brought on by a decade without a license fee increase, area manager Dan Rhode worries whether he'll be able to keep up with the demands.
Staff shortages already have led to reduced maintenance of parking lots, roads and signs. Water control structures, critical to maintaining good waterfowl habitat, can't be checked as often as is necessary to maintain optimum conditions.
Limited staff time has cut into the amount of food plots that can be planted. Less time can be dedicated to weekend enforcement.
"When you look at its size and its location, this unit is a real treasure," Rhode says. "But without adequate resources, we just can take care of it the way it should be."
The bottom line?
Tight budgets and reduced staff due to license fees remaining static for 11 years mean cutbacks to important management activities in the busy Carlos Avery WMA.
Less than 30 miles north of the Twin Cities in Anoka and Chisago counties, the 25,000-acre Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area receives extensive year-round use for hunting, trapping, hiking and wildlife watching.