Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in a six-county area of south-central Minnesota benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Owatonna area wildlife staff.
Area Supervisor Jeanine Vorland along with two full-time staff oversee a work area that covers more than two million acres of public and private land in Dodge, Freeborn, Mower, Rice, Steele and Waseca counties. The area includes 75 state Wildlife Management Areas totaling more than 13,000 acres; 7,100 acres of state-designated wildlife management lakes; six state game refuges; a waterfowl refuge; two wildlife sanctuaries; and two designated waterfowl feeding and resting areas.
- What we do
At work for you
Habitat conservation work in the Owatonna area.
- Implementing Outdoor Heritage Fund-funded projects through partnerships with conservation organizations, habitat teams and private contractors to rehabilitate shallow lakes; rejuvenate grassland and brushland habitats; and acquire lands for wildlife conservation.
- Monitoring and managing public wetlands and shallow lakes including eight designated wildlife management lakes; four lakes and marshes managed cooperatively with local governments; about 70 wetland restorations; and numerous other public lakes and wetlands to help sustain one of the richest ecosystems in North America for wildlife and the benefits people gain from good water quality and healthy aquatic resources.
- Conducting various formal and informal population surveys such as Canada goose and mourning dove banding; August roadside surveys; predator scent post surveys; registering furbearers; and conducting waterfowl and habitat surveys throughout the work area to monitor status, activity levels and population trends of various wildlife species.
- Maintaining productive natural communities and habitats for wildlife by preparing burn plans and implementing prescribed burns on 10-20 sites affecting 200-500 acres of grassland, brush land, wetland and woodland.
- Providing private lands technical assistance by working with local conservation groups, lake associations and local governments to ensure wildlife needs and science-based practices are incorporated into wildlife habitat developments.
- Assessing and addressing animal damage, wildlife disease and nuisance wildlife issues to help people co-exist with healthy wildlife populations.