Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in Wadena, Cass, Becker, Clearwater and Hubbard counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Park Rapids wildlife staff.
With two vacant assistant manager positions, the core habitat and population management efforts fall largely on Area Supervisor Erik Thorson. He oversees a seasonal laborer and a clerical support staff position as he works to manage 21 Wildlife Management Areas totaling 11,331 acres, which include the popular Crow Wing Chain, Yaeger Lake and Mule Lake WMAs. Thorson also helps coordinate wildlife work on 11 state forests.
- What we do
At work for you
Maintaining habitat in the Park Rapids area.
- Providing wildlife management input and information to major landowners in the Park Rapids area, including the Chippewa National Forest, county land departments, and Leech Lake and White Earth nations, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Itasca State Park.
- Collecting population data and making management recommendations for nine deer hunting permit areas, two bear hunting permit areas and parts of two wild turkey hunting permit areas.
- Providing waterfowl habitat by conducting water control structure rehabilitation and enhancement projects.
- Assisting hunters by maintaining roughly 100 miles of walking trail on 21 Wildlife Management Areas and three state forests.
- Conducting habitat-enhancing prescribed burns on hundreds of acres of prairie, brush land and forest for the betterment of game and other species that live on these lands.
- Regenerating hundreds of acres of brush land habitat through the use of heavy equipment.