Wildlife Management Areas

Performance Area: Natural Lands

Number of acres protected in wildlife management areas (WMAs) since 2000

Why Is This Important?

The DNR acquires and manages wildlife management areas (WMAs) to protect lands and waters that have a high potential for wildlife production, public hunting, trapping, fishing and other compatible recreational uses. DNR manages more than 1,800 WMAs covering 1.3 million acres of high-quality habitat in 86 of the state’s 87 counties. These areas provide recreation for hundreds of thousands of hunters and wildlife watchers each year, who contribute significantly to the state’s economy.

What Is DNR Doing?

Continued management efforts on existing WMA lands and acquisition of new parcels will be critical to maintaining quality wildlife habitat in Minnesota. DNR works with stakeholders to develop and manage a network of WMAs across Minnesota. While most WMAs are in southern and western Minnesota, the overall widespread distribution of these areas ensures that many landscape types are represented. This helps sustain a variety of species and provides different kinds of outdoor recreation opportunities to people throughout the state. The DNR provides online information and maps for WMAs, including hunter access trails, disabled access, and habitat types.

Target: Acquire 6,000 acres per year.