September 2010

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.





The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) works with the University of Minnesota Extension Service in conducting the Master Naturalist Program. What is the program and how does a person become a master naturalist?

The Master Naturalist Program is a community-based natural resource volunteer program that is open to any adult who is interested in learning more about the natural world. This program is different than the Master Gardener Program because it offers participants a broader- based understanding of the state's natural environments.

Those who sign up for the program will have the opportunity to be trained in any one, or all, of Minnesota's biomes – prairie, deciduous forest and coniferous forest.

To be certified as a master naturalist, volunteers must complete 40 hours of training and a supervised, sponsored project. Certified master naturalists assist the DNR, the Extension Service and other partners with public outreach and management of the state's diverse natural environments.

Additional information is available at

- Dawn Flinn, DNR Stewardship Education coordinator




Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs) are lesser known for their recreational opportunities, unlike wildlife management areas or aquatic management areas. What do they provide?

SNAs offer significant recreational opportunities for nature observation, photography and hiking. These sites are unrivaled by other public lands in Minnesota because of the unique wildflowers and rare plant and animal species that call these places home. In fact, many of these species can only be found on SNAs.

Hunting is allowed on all or some of more than 50 SNAs, totaling more than 88 percent of the acres designated in the state as SNAs. Portable tree stands are allowed on SNAs, provided they are not permanently attached to the trees and do not harm their bark.

The intent of SNAs is to protect and enhance the unique features of the sites.

- Peggy Booth, DNR Scientific & Natural Areas Program supervisor


The fall hunting season is upon us. Do resident or nonresident hunters who possess a lifetime Minnesota hunting license need to get a license for the current year?

Every hunter or angler who possesses a lifetime Minnesota hunting license must obtain an annual license at no cost for the current year. Those planning to hunt pheasant, waterfowl, or fish for trout and salmon, must purchase the necessary stamps. Hunters who intend to harvest migratory game birds must also get their HIP (Harvest Information Program) certification.

All deer hunters, including lifetime deer licensees, must apply for antlerless permits before the deadline each season. Regular lifetime deer licenses will be issued at no charge to the licensee; however, hunters will be charged for any additional bonus deer licenses.

Lifetime licenses can be obtained at any of the more than 1,500 license agents located throughout the state. Lifetime licenses may also be obtained by phone by calling 888-665-4236 or online at

Additional fees may be charged for phone and Internet transactions.

- Steve Michaels, DNR License Center program director


DNR Question of the Week Archive