The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area to share their thoughts on a draft update of the WMA’s master plan, which will guide management of the popular hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching destination in southeastern Minnesota.
“Public input is important as we update this plan,” said Jaime Edwards, Whitewater WMA supervisor. “The last update to the plan was in 1977, and we want this update to reflect current public values and attitudes about how the land should be managed into the future.”
The following events have been scheduled:
- Whitewater WMA staff will present an overview of the plan and answer questions during a webinar from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15. Registration is not required. A link to join the webinar is available on the Whitewater WMA page of the DNR website.
- Whitewater WMA staff will explain the plan and its purpose, answer questions and collect input during an in-person open house from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 in the main auditorium at the Whitewater State Park office, 19041 Highway 74 near Altura. Registration is not required.
- Whitewater WMA staff will explain the plan and its purpose, answer questions and collect input during a webinar from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. Registration is not required. A link to join the webinar is available on the Whitewater WMA page of the DNR website.
The draft master plan update is available for review on the DNR website. Comments on the master plan update can be made through Monday, Jan. 9 by:
- Completing the online form on the Engage with DNR website. A link to the draft plan and form is available on the Whitewater WMA page of the DNR website.
- Giving comments at the Jan. 4 open house or Jan. 5 webinar.
- Sending comments via email to [email protected].
- Sending written comments via postal mail to: Whitewater WMA Master Plan, Fish and Wildlife Division, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155.
- Delivering written comments in person to the Whitewater WMA office near Altura.
Whitewater WMA’s 28,000 acres provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species, but there have been many changes since the plan’s last update in 1977. Public use has changed, invasive species and climate change present new management challenges, and more native plant communities need to be restored and enhanced, among other changes.
The updated master plan will be used to guide management of the Whitewater WMA’s wetlands, forests, blufflands, prairies, grasslands and agricultural lands. It will include management goals, objectives and strategies for the WMA throughout the next 10 years.
Whitewater WMA hosts an estimated 500,000 visits annually. It is particularly popular with wild turkey hunters in spring, and deer and small game hunters in autumn. More information and maps of the area can be found on the Whitewater WMA page of the DNR website and the WMA finder.