May 2, 2019
The Trust for Public Land, Great River Greening, and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership today announced the protection of nearly 280 acres in additional Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) to be managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This newly protected public land is available for people to get outside and explore in the Cannon River Watershed, and offers exceptional hunting, fishing, hiking, and bird-watching opportunities.
Managed by the DNR, WMAs are the backbone of wildlife management efforts in Minnesota, while also an important part of the state’s outdoor recreation system and are established to protect lands and waters that have a high potential for wildlife production, public hunting, trapping, fishing, and other compatible recreational uses.
Additions to Warsaw WMA near Dennison and Factor WMA south of Lake Volney further protect these habitat complexes while adding much needed public access points. The creation of Trout Lily WMA, located just northeast of Faribault, and Gray Fox WMA, west of Shields Lake, establish new areas where people can get outside and enjoy the beautiful landscape of this area. In total, The Trust for Public Land has now created seven new WMA’s, and considerably expanded three others, totaling over 2,000 protected acres as part of its ongoing Cannon River program. These protected places include wetlands, prairies, Big Woods forest, and provide key habitat for wildlife, and offer quality hunting opportunities for waterfowl, deer, pheasant and turkeys within an hour of the Twin Cities.
“These land protection projects are representative of the great work The Trust for Public Land is doing as a part of our work to protect Minnesota’s rivers,” said Susan Schmidt, the Minnesota State Director for The Trust for Public Land, “By working closely with local partners, like Cannon River Watershed Partnership, we’re able to protect land that not only provides unique recreation opportunities for Minnesotans, but also protects habitat for wildlife.”
These acquisitions were completed as part of the Cannon River Watershed Habitat Complex program, a partnership between The Trust for Public Land, the Cannon River Watershed Partnership and Great River Greening. In this partnership, The Trust for Public Land acquires and protects land, the Cannon River Watershed Partnership coordinates the project, and Great River Greening restores and enhances land. The program gets its funding primarily from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.
Currently, acquisition funding is available for the permanent protection of high habitat value lands within the watershed. If you’re interested in learning more about the program please contact Alan Kraus, Conservation Program Manager for the Cannon River Watershed Partnership at “firstname.lastname@example.org“ or at 507-786-3913 for more information.