Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in northeastern Beltrami, Lake of the Woods and eastern Roseau counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Baudette area wildlife office.
Area Supervisor Scott Laudenslager and one full-time assistant oversee an area that includes more than 1.1 million acres of public and private land. About one-third of these acres are in public ownership. These include 22 state Wildlife Management Areas totaling more than 142,000 acres. This work area also includes the south shore of Lake of the Woods as well as the Red Lake Peatland Scientific and Natural Area. Staff also coordinate wildlife management of 312,471 acres of state forest land, including the Northwest Angle, Lake of the Woods, Lost River and Beltrami Island State Forest. They also manage 28,000 acres of federal Land Utilization Project Lands within the Beltrami Island State Forest.
- What we do
At work for you
A Baudette wildlife crew manages a prescribed burn.
- Manage wildlife habitat improvement projects that maintain hundreds of acres of lowland brush (shearing and/or burning every year), mow dozens of forest wildlife openings and coordinate hundreds of acres of timber sales annually with the Division of Forestry.
- Annually conduct wildlife population surveys for ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, common tern, woodcock, frog, small mammal, shallow lake and predator surveys throughout the work area. Annually band 100 to 150 Canada geese.
- Manage one bear permit area, three deer permit areas and one special deer hunt in Zippel Bay State Park. Coordinate 16 big game registration stations and two furbearer registration stations.
- Present five to 10 wildlife identification/nature walk programs to elementary students at five school districts. Assist with staffing the DNR cabin at Lake of the Woods County Fair.
- Annually clear and mow 37 miles of hunter walking trails to provide hunting and outdoor recreation opportunity. Two of these trails are cleared with volunteer assistance from Whitetails Unlimited volunteers.
- Conduct environmental review of transmission line impacts, protected waters projects and judicial ditch clean out projects that can be detrimental to downstream landowners and affect water quality.