The Nature Conservancy protected land totaling 143 acres in Fillmore and Houston counties that have been added to the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest.
The properties include oak forest, jack pine barrens, native prairie, shoreline along the Root River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, and restorable bluff prairie and savanna.
The additions were completed under the Conservancy’s Southeast Minnesota Protection and Restoration Program.
Funding for the properties 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.
These properties are open to the public for hiking, photography and bird-watching. The Minnesota State Constitution requires property purchased with Outdoor Heritage Fund dollars to be open to the public taking of fish and game during the open season. Hunting, trapping and fishing is allowed on this property in accordance with DNR Wildlife Management Areas rules published in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.
- Rushford Sand Barrens Unit: Portions of SE 1/4 of Sec 21, Rushford Township, Fillmore County; Walk-in access from 91°48’27”W 43°47’40”N (43.794470, -91.807439)
- Wet Bark Unit (North): Portions of SE 1/4 of Section 14, Yucatan Township, Houston County; 91°38’8”W 43°43’13”N (43.720377, -91.635568)
- Wet Bark Unit (South): Portions of W 1/2 NW 1/4 of Section 24, Yucatan Township, Houston County; 91°37’39”W 43°42’53”N (43.714889, -91.627565)