Management record shaky

Shirley Taggart
Animal Advocate 

It’s no secret that I am opposed to the use of leg hold traps. It is also no secret that I am opposed to the DNR’s wolf hunting and trapping season.

It’s interesting and confusing that we advocate for smaller government. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, it works to integrate and sustain the interdependent values of a healthy environment, a sustainable economy and livable communities. It’s integrated resource management strategy shares stewardship responsibility with citizens and partners to manage for multiple interests. It protects the state’s natural heritage by conserving the diversity of natural lands, waters and fish and wildlife that provide the foundation for Minnesota’s recreational and natural resource-based economy. It manages natural lands such as forests, wetlands and native prairies; maintains healthy populations of fish and wildlife; and protects rare plant and animal communities throughout the state. It manages the state’s water resources, sustaining healthy waterways and ground water resources. It provides access to enrich public outdoor recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, wildlife-watching, camping, skiing, hiking, biking, motorized recreation and conservation education through a state outdoor recreation system that includes parks, trails, wildlife management areas, scientific and natural areas, water trails and other facilities. It supports natural resource-based economies, managing state forest lands for multiple forest values, ensuring the maximum long-term economic return from school trust lands, and providing other economic opportunities in a manner consistent with sound natural resource conservation and management principles.

Did you know the DNR states it is working on Accelerated Prairie Restoration and Enhancement – Phase 4. The projected cost is $4,300,000.

Did you know the DNR’s Section of Wildlife states it manages 50 different game species plus 1,400 Wildlife Management Areas? They state they offer vast public lands and a wide variety of species to hunt…

However, here we go again. Giving an agency more power. The DNR claims to be a management agency. If that is true, then perhaps we should consider how well they do indeed manage.

For example, the DNR is empowered to manage and help control invasive species. Minnesota’s natural resources are threatened by a number of invasive species such as zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, common buckthorn and emerald ash borer. The MN DNR states it works to prevent the spread of invasive species.

The MN DNR states it works to prevent Asian carp (large, plankton-feeding fish) from moving northward in the Mississippi River, which then pose a threat to Minnesota’s rivers and lakes.

How well are they doing? Well, check out their website.

For example: The DNR reports the following:

Waters infested with bighead and silver carp, 32 plus nine multiple county infestations; waters infested with Brazilian elopdia, one;  Brittle Naiad, two; Eurasian Milfoil, 264; Faucet Snail, 25 plus three multiple county infestations; Flowering Ruch, 24 plus one multiple county infestation; New Zealand Mudsnail, multiple counties; Round Gaby, multiple counties; Ruffe, multiple counties; Spring Waterflea, 46 plus five multiple counties; Viral Hemorrhogic Septicemia, multiple counties; White Pearch, multiple counties; Zebra Mussels, 102 plus multiple counties.

At least that’s what’s listed. My guess, there are a lot more that go undetected.

The DNR states it appreciates all the efforts of organized groups and individual hunters, anglers, trappers and others who supported new license prices. This increase will help the hunting and trapping areas. Expenditures for staff, field offices, vehicles and other infrastructure will continue to come largely from the Game and Fish Fund, which is dependent on license sale revenues.

So, now back to the wolves. Humans mess things up and then over correct and mess the balance of nature up even more. Is it realistic to expect the DNR to manage the wolf population more efficiently and effectively than it has managed invasive species? Is this really about wolf preservation or the easy generation of extra revenue through hunting and trapping licenses on wolves?

Where does the buck stop on this one? It stops with Tom Landwehr, DNR Commissioner. Office of the DNR Commissioner, 500 Lafayette Rd. St. Paul MN, 55115 [email protected]

And, the legislators and governor for allowing the five-year-hold to be waived.


Shirley Taggart is an animal advocate. She is committed to helping animals and the people who care about them. Visit her blog at [email protected]