The Nature Conservancy protected approximately 146 acres in Wabasha County. The property includes sand prairie and dune habitat and provides habitat for grassland nesting birds and Blanding’s turtles.
The property helps connect McCarthy Lake WMA to nearby scientific and natural areas and will be managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The tract is expected to be a stronghold for biodiversity as Minnesota’s climate continues to warm.
This area was determined to be a high-priority conservation area for the Prairie Forest Border Ecoregional Plan, a multi-agency partnership that provides recommendations for protecting, enhancing and restoring Minnesota’s prairie heritage.
Funding for the property was provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund, which was created under the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, through an appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
The property is open to the public for hiking, photography and bird-watching. The Minnesota State Constitution requires all properties purchased with Outdoor Heritage Fund dollars to be open to the public taking of fish and game during the open season. As a result, hunting, trapping and fishing are allowed on this property in accordance with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Areas rules published in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.
Many of the properties purchased through the project are adjacent to private lands that are not open for public hunting. Please restrict hunting and fishing activities to only those lands clearly marked with signage showing they are “Open to Public Hunting.”