About the District

About the District landscape

The Minnesota Valley Wetland Management District, established in 1988, is a fourteen-county district located in the transition zone between northern tallgrass prairie and eastern deciduous forest. The district manages more than 8,000 acres of land dedicated to wildlife and wildlife-dependent recreation, including more than 25 waterfowl production areas and more than 50 easements. Each of these relatively small areas – often only a couple of hundred acres – is critically important to migrating, breeding and nesting waterfowl. They also provide habitat for grassland birds, such as meadowlark and bobolink, and a variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and other creatures. The District is part of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, comprised of more than 14,000 acres.

The purpose of the Minnesota Valley Wetland Management District is to restore, enhance, and maintain a complex of wetlands, grasslands, and a limited amount of forests that provide quality habitat for waterfowl, grassland nesting birds, and associated species. Secondary objectives of the district include providing wildlife-dependent recreation, wildlife interpretation, and environmental education programs to visitors and area citizens. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Waterfowl production areas were created by an amendment to the Federal Duck Stamp Act in 1958. Scientists realized that these small pockets of habitat were vital to breeding waterfowl. This amendment gave the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service permission to purchase small wetlands. Federal Duck Stamps are a vital tool for wetland conservation. Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sales of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Understandably, the Federal Duck Stamp Program has been called one of the most successful conservation programs ever initiated and is a highly effective way to conserve America’s natural resources.

Contact the District

Minnesota Valley Wetland Management District Headquarters
Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center
15865 Rapids Lake Road
Carver, MN 55315
Phone: 952-361-4500
E-mail: minnesotavalley@fws.gov

Before visiting the district headquarters, please call to make sure that staff are in the office.  Staff are often working in the field, assisting partners, and conducting educational programs.