Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in the Beltrami, Lake of the Woods and Roseau county area benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Red lake Wildlife Management Area staff.
Manager Gretchen Mehmel and three year-round staff oversee an area that includes 324,000 acres of state Wildlife Management Area and an additional about 450,000 acres of public and private lands. The Red Lake work area contains seven WMAs, headwaters of five different river systems and a pristine area of peatlands. The area also is known for excellent hunting and trapping opportunities for a wide array of species, including ruffed grouse, bear and deer.
- What we do
At work for you
A grouse hunter enjoys a hunter walking trail at the Red Lake Wildlife Management Area. Photo by Bruce Mills.
- Managing 58,000 acres of federal Land Utilization Project land and coordinating the state's lease for these lands with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Shearing, burning, or mowing more than 500 acres of lowland brush.
- Annually coordinating approximately 3,000-4,000 acres of timber sales and 200-300 acres of forest development (planting) projects to enhance forest wildlife habitat.
- Participating in wildlife and wildlife habitat survey and research projects including ruffed and spruce grouse; sharp-tailed grouse; woodpeckers; bird and habitat regeneration after the Palsburg Wildfire; insects (moths and dragonflies); peatland hydrology; lowland conifer regeneration; soil temperature and moisture monitoring; and red pine thinning techniques.
- Developing and maintaining user facilities (parking lots, gates, trails, etc.), including 38 hunter walking trails that total 74 miles; three WMA access trails; and more than 65 miles of posted WMA boundaries out of 471 miles of total WMA boundaries.
- Providing substantial public outreach including two newsletters per year; hosting annual field trips to Norris Camp for the Warroad, Baudette and Red Lake schools; and giving 7-10 presentations a year to local schools and organizations.