October 2009

The DNR communications team works with agency experts to develop the weekly questions and provide the answers. This feature addresses current DNR issues, interesting topics, or the most frequently asked questions from around Minnesota.





Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs) are lesser known for their recreational opportunities, unlike wildlife management areas or aquatic management areas. What do they provide?

SNAs offer significant recreational opportunities for nature observation, photography and hiking. These sites are unrivaled by other public lands in Minnesota because of the unique wildflowers and rare plant and animal species that call these places home. In fact, many of these species can only be found on SNAs.

All or some forms of hunting are allowed on more than 50 SNAs, totaling more than 88 percent of the acres designated in the state as SNAs. Portable tree stands are allowed on SNAs provided they are not permanently attached to the trees or do not harm their bark.

The intent of SNAs is to protect and enhance the unique features of the sites.

- Peggy Booth, DNR Scientific & Natural Areas Program supervisor


How did Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, the official magazine of the DNR, get its name?

The name Minnesota Conservation Volunteer stems from the magazine’s original purpose. It became the official publication of DNR in 1940, known then as the Minnesota Department of Conservation. The intent was to help mobilize an army of "conservation volunteers" throughout the state. Readers were encouraged to take a pledge to “support by word and deed all aspects of conservation.” Early issues of the magazine featured a card that Conservation Volunteers could clip and carry with them in their wallets. Nearly 70 years later, the magazine still relies on volunteers. It has 168,000 subscribers and is funded solely by reader donations, which pay for the entire cost of producing and printing the magazine, including shipping, staff salaries and other expenses.

- Kathleen Weflen, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer editor-in-chief


The fall hunting season is upon us. Do resident or non-resident hunters who possess a lifetime Minnesota hunting license need to get a license for the current year?

Every hunter or angler who possesses a lifetime Minnesota hunting license must obtain an annual license at no cost for the current year. Those planning to hunt pheasant, waterfowl, or fish for trout and salmon, must purchase the necessary stamps. Hunters who intend to harvest migratory game birds must also get their HIP (Harvest Information Program) certification.

All deer hunters, including lifetime deer licensees, must apply for antlerless permits before the deadline each season. Regular lifetime deer licenses will be issued at no charge to the licensee; however, hunters will be charged for any additional bonus deer licenses.  

Lifetime licenses can be obtained at any of the 1,800 license agents located throughout the state. Lifetime licenses may also be obtained by phone by calling 888-665-4236 or online at www.mndnr.gov/licenses.

An additional $3.50 convenience fee will be charged for phone or Internet transactions.

- Steve Michaels, DNR License Center program director


The egrets I used to watch stalk the ponds for fish and frogs have vanished overnight. Do they migrate in groups, or individually? And where do they go?

The species of egret found in Minnesota is the great egret. Great egrets migrate individually or in small, v-shaped or wavy lined flocks of less than 25. They spend their winters on the southern coasts of North America into Mexico and South America.

-- Lori Naumann, information officer, DNR Nongame Wildlife Program


DNR Question of the Week Archive