What We Do
Although we strive to purchase mostly grassland areas, sometimes cropland is included. Once the lands are purchased, croplands must be restored through planting native grasses and wildflowers. We focus this restoration work on imitating what species where present before native habitats were developed into agricultural lands. We often harvest native grasses and flowering plants, known as forbs, from other native or restored areas and use these seeds in the new restoration.
Big Stone Wetland Management District staff use prescribed, or planned, fire to restore and maintain prairie habitat on a rotational basis, burning an area once every four to five years. These fires rejuvenate prairie habitats, as well as cleanse them of accumulated, dead vegetation and stimulate fresh growth. Native plants and grasses benefit from the nutrients that are being returned to the soil. This allows native prairie plants to produce more seeds and regrow in greater abundance.
Establishing waterfowl production areas is one way that interested landowners can contribute to the survival of North America's migratory birds. If you’re a landowner in Lincoln or Lyon county in Minnesota, you can also make a positive impact for wildlife by restoring drained wetlands on your property. Contact the Big Stone Wetland Management District at 320-273-2191 to learn more.
In addition to managing purchased prairie units, we also purchase easements on privately owned lands. These habitat easements protect existing grasslands and wetland complexes by restricting the drainage of wetlands or tilling of prairies. It functions as a privately held wildlife refuge, where the landowner controls most other aspects including hunting. As staff and resources allow, we also help landowners with habitat improvement projects on your property.
Partners for Fish and Wildlife, a special program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, assists landowners with the restoration and management of habitat on private land. Our biologists work with landowners to design wetland and grassland restoration projects or other habitat improvements and the program may also provide financial assistance for these improvements.
Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some National Wildlife Refuge System lands and occurs at Big Stone Wetland Management District. It may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service view trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuge lands that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a special use permit. Signs are posted at district offices where trapping occurs. Contact the district manager for specific regulations.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. Officers help visitors understand and obey wildlife protection laws. They work closely with state and local government offices to enforce federal, state andhunting regulations that protect migratory birds and other game species from illegal take and they preserve legitimate hunting opportunities.
Laws and Regulations
Welcome to your. Our lands are open every day for you to discover new places to hunt, fish, take pictures, watch wildlife, pick wild edibles - for personal use, trap, hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe and canoe.
Hunting, fishing and trapping seasons generally follow state seasons and regulations. Please consult the wetland management district manager at 320-273-2191 if you have questions. We may post additional site-specific regulations.
To report a wildlife violation, call 1-844-397-8477.