Accelerated Forest Wildlife Habitat Program
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Our program will increase populations of a variety of game and non-game wildlife species by protecting and enhancing forest habitats on which wildlife depends. This program of on-the-ground forest conservation projects will amplify the wildlife value of forest communities on DNR administered forestlands.
Our forest enhancement will treat 4,472 ac. These activities are not conducted as part of the DNR’s commercial timber operations. Additionally, our program will acquire 404 ac of forestland that contributes to habitat complexes and other high priorities. Acquisitions focus on forestland for public hunting, and compatible outdoor uses.
At a reduced level of funding, we are focusing on management activities that will maximize wildlife habitat outcomes, especially prescribed burning, hand release, and shearing/mowing. Our program will enhance oak and create a mix of young hardwood forest with more open meadow/brush lands to benefit grouse, elk, and deer. Forest opening creation/enhancement will increase nut and berry production, provide roosting/display areas, and create feeding areas for moose, deer, ruffed grouse, woodcock, and bear. Shearing of trees and brush in large open landscape priority areas will benefit sharp-tailed grouse. Shearing and mowing of hardwoods and brush in smaller patches will benefit woodcock and deer.
Our program will benefit a number of nongame species, including yellow rails, sandhill cranes, northern harriers, bobolinks, and upland sandpipers. Activities that create/enhance forest openings will provide habitat for nongame species, including least chipmunks, northern flickers, coopers hawks, and song sparrows. The less intensive timber management in our program will help protect rare native plant communities and a number of nongame species through retention and enhancement of plant species diversity and structure.