The public is invited to attend the dedication of what is destined to become Mower County’s newest public hunting land at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, as part of the Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener.
The dedication ceremony, which was scheduled to take place on-site, will instead be moved to Torge's Live at The Austin Holiday Inn due to wet soil conditions and expected inclement weather.
The ceremony will include comments from Gov. Tim Walz, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen, and Explore Minnesota Director John Edman, among other local leaders.
The new tract was made possible by Pheasants Forever, the Austin Area Foundation and the Outdoor Heritage Council fund.
“We’re excited and honored that we could help with this project,” said Austin Area Foundation Executive Director Jeff Baldus. “We hope the public will enjoy this parcel for generations to come.”
The future wildlife management area features approximately 140 acres of drained and partially drained wetlands as well as wet meadow and shrub swamp along Murphy Creek. Restoration work will begin next year. It will become part of a larger complex of nearby public lands that includes wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas.
The land was donated by the Worlein family of Austin.
“The benefit of this land goes beyond wildlife habitat,” Baldus said. “This new land improves water storage capacity, water quality and groundwater recharge in Mower County. We’re very grateful for the Worlein Family and their generosity to help make this happen.”
The parcel is located northwest of Austin in Mower County.
The dedication is part of the 2019 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. Walz leads the weekend festivities, which feature many hunting, recreational and travel opportunities the Austin area has to offer visitors. More information and updates on the event can be found at exploreminnesota.com/mngpho.
With a population of 24,563, Austin is the county seat of Mower County. It is situated at the junction of Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 218.
Explore Minnesota and the DNR are assisting Discover Austin in planning the event.