Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in the Stearns, Wright and Sherburne county area benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Sauk Rapids area wildlife staff.
Area Wildlife Supervisor Fred Bengtson along with two full-time staff manage habitat and facilities in and around the St. Cloud area. Those lands include 61 state Wildlife Management Areas covering more than 12,000 acres. They also administer six state game refuges.
- What we do
At work for you
Seeding habitat in the Sauk Rapids wildlife work area.
- Assessing more than 30 potential WMA acquisitions and submitting proposals for 10 or more new tracts each year to provide hunting opportunities, as well as restoring, enhancing and maintaining wildlife habitat including 500 acres of native prairie yearly on public land and promoting this same effort on private land.
- Collaborating on potential wildlife habitat projects using a variety of funding sources along with conservation group and individual donations, grants, and Outdoor Heritage funding.
- Preventing or minimizing loss of wildlife habitat on private land through regulation, persuasion and dissemination of information to the public. Also, helping prevent damaging natural resource legislative proposals by responding to contacts from the public and wildlife related complaints of more than 60 major nuisance wildlife cases, including problem Canada geese, bears, deer, turkey and raccoon crop depredations.
- Monitoring, maintaining and enhancing 200 wetlands, as well as applying priority efforts towards Pelican, Smith, Cedar and Malardi Lake Enhancement Projects to improve water quality and wetland wildlife habitat on these four large (respectively 4,000, 300, 243 and 125 acres) designated shallow lakes in Stearns, Wright and Sherburne counties.
- Preparing and updating management plans for area-wide WMAs to provide habitat enhancement and conservation, as well as providing wildlife habitat management and population technical guidance to private landowners, local governments and non-profit groups in the work area.
- Developing, maintaining or improving more than 200 user facilities (parking lots, gates, trails, etc.) on area WMAs; maintain three miles of WMA access roads; remove garbage from 61 WMAs, survey and maintain 10 miles of boundary on work area WMAs.
- Area highlights
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