Case Study: Detroit Lakes Area Wildlife
|Wildlife staff conduct a prescribed burn on a WMA to enhance habitat for grassland nesting birds.
With dwindling funds, the amount and type of work that the Detroit Lakes Area wildlife staff can annually accomplish will diminish in capacity, be delayed or not be completed. It is likely the area would lose one or both of its seasonal laborers.
"Without these two critical positions, significant wildlife and property management activities may not occur or could be delayed indefinitely," said Blane Klemek, Detroit Lakes area wildlife supervisor.
Such activities include mowing and maintaining a system of hunter walking trails, accesses and parking lots on WMAs; maintaining signs and posts that surround each of the area's 45 WMAs; repairing equipment; constructing, installing, maintaining and monitoring wildlife nest structures; and conducting wildlife habitat projects such as prescribed burning, wildlife food plot establishment, wild rice management and noxious weed control.
With stable or increased funding, the area could concentrate personnel and resources toward projects that need to be accomplished but have fallen by the wayside. Two such projects are repairing and replacing signs and posts on WMA boundaries and controlling invasive, harmful plant species that continue to plague Minnesota's public and private lands.
The bottom line?
With stable or increased funding, the area could concentrate personnel and resources toward projects that need to be accomplished but have fallen by the wayside.
What We Do: Highlights
The Minnesota DNR's Detroit Lakes Wildlife Area includes a 1.4 million acre base of public and private lands and waters in Becker, Mahnomen and Norman counties of west-central Minnesota. These areas provide excellent hunting and trapping opportunities for deer, black bear, turkey, waterfowl, ruffed grouse, prairie chicken, woodcock, doves, furbearers and more.
- Manage habitats and facilities on 45 designated Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), covering nearly 26,000 acres, in Becker, Mahnomen and Norman Counties, and administer two Wildlife Sanctuaries, two State Game Refuges and one Waterfowl Refuge.
- Planned and conducted prairie/grassland prescribed burns on 16 WMA sites totaling 2,594 acres, restored or enhanced an additional 175 acres to native prairie vegetation on six sites, conducted native prairie seed harvest for public land restoration projects, managed three external and one DNR LSOHC prairie restoration grant projects, monitored and controlled noxious weeds on 85 WMA acres, developed 19 food plots covering 35 acres and administered 12 Cooperative Farming Agreements covering 529 acres in 2011.
- Planned and administered three timber sales totaling 21 acres on area WMAs and completed forest opening management on 12 sites covering 22 acres in 2011.
- Completed wetland habitat monitoring and maintenance on 10 water level control structures covering 650 acres of wetland habitat, completed replacement of the main Hubbel Pond WMA control structure and diversion ditch and provided technical guidance and management on five wild rice lakes covering 745 acres in 2011.
- Annually monitor and complete necessary maintenance and improvement activities of area facilities, which include 26 miles of access roads and trails, 32 parking lots, 50 gates and 185 miles of WMA boundary.
- Assessed 10 potential WMA acquisition proposals and submitted proposals for six new acquisitions in 2011.
- Annually provide hunting season management recommendations for nine deer permit areas, two turkey permit areas and two prairie chicken permit areas; complete seven August roadside surveys and population surveys for prairie chickens, ruffed grouse and predators; and provide registration services for 20 big game and turkey registration stations and area-wide furbearer registration.
- Issued 19 goose shooting permits and responded to over 30 nuisance animal complaints by providing appropriate technical guidance involving problem deer, bear, geese and turkeys in 2011.
- Collaborate with various natural resource agencies, conservation partners, and local units of government by providing technical guidance on habitat enhancement and protection, as well as wildlife population technical guidance.
- Provided environmental review of over 20 local land use, protected waters, aeration, utility and transportation projects to mitigate potential wildlife habitat and population impacts in 2011.