Aitkin, MN 56431
Hunters, trappers, bird and wildlife watchers in Aitkin county benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Aitkin area wildlife office staff.
Area Supervisor Russell Reisz and one full-time assistant oversee an area that includes 1.3 million acres of public and private land. Nearly one-half of these acres are in public ownership. The area includes 38 state Wildlife Management Areas that total about 57,000 acres and two state wildlife sanctuaries.
Area staff also coordinate species and habitat management with other public land managers, which include DNR forestry's six state forests that cover 650,000 acres.
- What we do
- Maintaining a WMA facility base that consists of 236 miles of boundary lines, 91 miles of access roads/hunter walking trails, and 75 user facilities (land/water access sites).
- Collecting harvest information, monitoring/modeling population levels and recommending hunting season regulations.
- Conducting landscape-based forest resource assessment and planning efforts, providing site-level wildlife habitat input on forest management practices administered by the DNR forestry on state WMAs and maintaining forest openings on WMA and forestry lands.
- Assessing and managing four priority open land/bush land landscapes through prescribed fire/mechanical treatment.
- Surveying 12 shallow/wild rice lakes, managing 20 shallow lakes totaling 3,000 acres for wild rice waterfowl, managing 24 waterfowl impoundments totaling 3,500 acres and maintaining 300 wood duck boxes.
- Collaborating on a Ducks Unlimited and DNR wild rice waterfowl management project and numerous other state and local stakeholders' projects supported through Outdoor Heritage Funds.