June 2008

The DNR communications team works with agency experts to develop the weekly questions and provide the answers. This feature addresses current DNR issues, interesting topics, or the most frequently asked questions from around Minnesota.






There are a large variety of bird species that either call Minnesota home or pass through every fall and spring. Where can a person go to watch these birds in action?

430 species of birds have been documented in Minnesota. Of those, 312 are either resident or migrant birds that can be expected to be seen annually in appropriate habitat. Of all 50 states, Minnesota ranks second in the number of people who participate in bird and wildlife watching. Birdwatching can be done nearly anywhere, but some great places include Blue Mounds State Park in the southwest, Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in the northwest, Sax-Zim Bog (St. Louis County) in the northeast and Frontenac State Park in the southeast. With the help of ornithologists Bob Janssen and Jerry Bonkoski the Minnesota DNR recently completed an inventory of the bird species which have been documented in state parks. Checklists of bird species are currently available for 70 Minnesota state parks, and can be picked up at park offices or downloaded from the DNR's Web site at  www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/birdchecklists.html.

- Ed Quinn, State Parks Resource Management Program coordinator


With high gas prices, are there good destinations for canoeing and kayaking in Minnesota without having to travel too far? If so, where are they located and where can a person find information about them?

Minnesota DNR manages more than 4,000 miles of “water trails” on 30 rivers throughout the state for canoeing and kayaking. In addition, the Lake Superior Water Trail is managed for kayaking and stretches the entire 155 miles of Minnesota’s North Shore. You can find a water trail within about an hour or two of most parts of the state. Free water trail guides that include maps, public accesses, free campsites, navigational features and interpretive information are available through the DNR Information Center by calling (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367). You can also find these water trail guides, plus river level reports, recommended trips, trip planning and safety information on the Minnesota DNR’s Web site at www.mndnr.gov/watertrails

- Erik Wrede, DNR water trails coordinator


I'd like to get a burning permit and I heard I can apply for it on the DNR Web site. Is that true, and what do I need to do?

The DNR Web site can direct you where you need to go to get your permit. Some counties also have permits available online; be prepared to pay a $5 annual fee for online permits. Otherwise permits can be obtained from state forestry offices or fire wardens. If you live in a municipality there may be other regulations regarding permits, check with your city offices.

- Greg Spoden, DNR climatologist, Division of Waters

06/03/08 I recently saw a couple of Canada geese with their goslings and wondered if they have more than one clutch a year?

No, once geese have raised their first brood, their reproductive systems shut down for the year. However, if their first clutch of eggs is unsuccessful or disturbed early enough during the incubation period, the birds may try to nest again.

- Lori Naumann, DNR Nongame Wildlife Program


DNR Question of the Week Archive