News release: DNR invites public comment on Red Lake WMA master plan update

May 19, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in the Red Lake 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 northwestern Minnesota.

“Public input is important as we update this plan,” said Charlie Tucker, Red Lake WMA supervisor. “The previous plan was developed in 1980, and we want this update to reflect current public values and attitudes about how the land should be managed into the future.”

The updated master plan will be used to guide management of the Red Lake WMA’s unique forests and peatlands. It will include management goals, objectives and strategies for the WMA throughout the next 10 years.

Public input opportunities

Red Lake WMA staff will explain the plan and its purpose, answer questions, and collect input at an in-person open house and on a webinar. No registration is required for either event.

The in-person open house is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, at the Big Bog SRA Visitor Center, 55716 Highway 72 NE, Waskish.

The webinar is 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 8. A link to join the webinar is available on the Red Lake WMA page of the DNR website.

Review and comment on the plan

The draft master plan update is available for review on the DNR website.

People can comment on the draft plan through Tuesday, June 20, in a variety of ways, including: using the online form on the Engage with DNR website; providing verbal and written comments at the June 6 open house or June 8 webinar; emailing [email protected]; or mailing comments to Red Lake WMA Master Plan, Fish and Wildlife Division, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155.

About the WMA

Red Lake WMA consists of 324,000 acres of state wildlife management area within the Beltrami Island State Forest, making it Minnesota’s largest WMA. Ancient Glacial Lake Agassiz beach ridges of upland forest are surrounded by extensive wetlands of open bog, brushlands and lowland forest. The WMA also includes a supplemental sub-unit that is managed by the Baudette area wildlife staff. A watershed protection area surrounding the Red Lake Scientific and Natural Area overlaps the southern portion of the WMA. Norris Camp, initially built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 as the Clear River Camp, houses the WMA headquarters today.

Red Lake WMA provides unique recreational opportunities for users, including spruce grouse and sharp-tailed grouse hunting, unparalleled bird watching, and plenty of space for those seeking solitude. More information and maps of the area can be found on the Red Lake WMA page and the WMA finder.

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