Elk management in Kittson and Marshall counties and the upcoming elk management plan revision will be discussed from 6:30-9 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, at the Greenbush High School, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“Our goal is to inform people about the northwestern Minnesota elk herds and let them know how they can participate in the elk plan revision,” said John Williams, DNR northwest region wildlife manager.
DNR staff will present information on topics such as elk history, habitat management, damage the animals can cause and the process for revising the elk plan for 2016-2020.
Three small elk herds roam far northwestern Minnesota: the Kittson Central herd located near Lancaster; the Grygla herd located in Marshall County near Grygla; and the Caribou-Vita herd in northern Kittson County and southern Manitoba. A recently completed aerial elk population survey shows that those three distinct herds contain 108 animals.
As part of the planning process, the DNR also is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on elk consensus work groups, one for the two Kittson County herds and one for the Grygla elk herd. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr will select and appoint members to each group.
The DNR’s goal is to maintain a free-ranging, wild elk population in northwestern Minnesota. The department envisions a healthy yet limited population that offers recreational and economic opportunities while actively addressing conflicts between elk and people. Habitat and herd structure would be maintained. Hunting seasons would be used to help manage problem animals and herd size.
Information on Minnesota’s elk and the current management plan is available on the DNR website.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting an open house on Thursday, March 13, to provide information and answer questions about a proposal to allow rock climbing at Banning State Park. The open house will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the secondary cafeteria at East Central High School, 61085 State Highway 23, Finlayson.
The open house will be informal and anyone can attend. DNR staff will be available to answer questions and invite feedback on a draft amendment to the park’s 1980 management plan that would make Banning the fifth Minnesota state park to allow rock climbing. Climbing is currently allowed in Blue Mounds, Interstate, Tettegouche and Temperance River state parks. Most climbing activity at Banning State Park would be bouldering on the sandstone outcrops along the Kettle River, but several portions of the park have potential for roped climbing.
A popular destination for campers and paddlers, Banning State Park includes 6,237 acres that straddle the wild and scenic Kettle River near Sandstone, about 90 miles north of the Twin Cities. Several rapids on the river offer some of the state’s most challenging canoeing and kayaking opportunities. Park trails circle the remains of the historic Banning townsite and sandstone quarry and lead to a scenic waterfall, Wolf Creek Falls.
A copy of the draft management plan amendment is available online.
Those unable to review and comment on the draft amendment at the open house can submit comments via phone or email to:
- Joe Alberio, district supervisor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-485-5410.
- Darin Newman, Conservation Corps Minnesota, planning specialist, email@example.com, 651-259-5611.
Comments will be accepted through Friday, April 11.