Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in Becker, Mahnomen and Norman counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Detroit Lakes area wildlife staff.
Area Supervisor Rob Baden, two full-time staff and two seasonal laborers oversee an area that includes 1.4 million acres of public and private land. This includes 50 Wildlife Management Areas totaling more than 26,000 acres; two state game refuges; two wildlife sanctuaries; and one waterfowl refuge.
Baden and his staff also help coordinate wildlife management on thousands of acres of state forest administered lands, plus collaborative habitat restoration efforts with Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A significant accomplishment in 2016 was approval of the state's 55th designated wildlife lake – 238-acre Beaulieu Lake northeast of Bejou, an important water body for migratory waterfowl, especially diving ducks.
Detroit Lakes area wildlife staff conduct a prescribed burn on a WMA to enhance habitat for grassland nesting birds.