Cloquet, MN 55720
Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in Carlton, Pine and southern St. Louis counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Cloquet area wildlife staff.
Area Supervisor Chris Balzer, four full-time staff and one seasonal laborer oversee an area that includes more than 2.6 million acres of public and private land. This work area includes 32 state Wildlife Management Areas totaling more than 16,279 acres.
Cloquet staff also coordinate wildlife management on seven state forests and work closely with county land departments on timber harvests and other land management activities that affect wildlife.
- What we do
- Maintaining approximately 98 miles of hunter walking trails in the Cloquet area for the benefit of non-motorized hunters.
- Ramping-up efforts to locate and treat infestations of non-native invasive species, particularly buckthorn. A total of 83 acres of buckthorn were treated on two sites in 2014 and 72 acres on five sites in 2015. Funding partners for this project include the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Ruffed Grouse Society, National Wild Turkey Federation and St. Louis County. Conservation Corps Minnesota is completing most of the boots-on-the-ground work.
- Working cooperatively with Ducks Unlimited to control beaver and water levels on seven shallow lakes to maintain 1,200 acres of wild rice beds for waterfowl food and rice harvesters.
- Improving habitat and hunting by burning 1,934 acres of brush and wetland habitats to remove woody vegetation and stimulate wildlife food and cover in fiscal year 2016, protecting 24 acres of oak seedlings from deer browsing with the help of the National Wild Turkey Federation volunteers, improving 97 acres of young oak stands by selectively removing competing trees, planting 52 acres of old field habitat to native grasses and forbs, mowing 15 acres of wildlife openings and woodcock strips, posting 31 miles of Area With Limitations boundary to help provide non-motorized hunting opportunities in heavily used State Forests in Pine County and maintaining 68 duck boxes.
- Working on five new land acquisitions to add to our WMA system totaling 1,877 acres, nearly three-square miles of additional public hunting land. Most of these lands should be open for public hunting and other recreation by the fall of 2017. Much of this work would not be possible without the strong partnership with Pheasants Forever and the Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society.
- Conducting general maintenance, including boundary surveys, sign posting, improving parking lots, gates, kiosks, roads and trails.