KIMT News 3 – After months of public hearings, the Minnesota DNR will not be making changes to wildlife areas across the state.
This spring, the DNR considered loosening hunting and trapping restrictions on ten of the state’s 159 scientific and natural areas (SNAs).
“What we we were trying to do with all of this was to increase support for the program by providing recreational use. If most of the people that are commenting are opposed, then it’s time for us to take a break and figure out if this is the best strategy,” said Steve Hirsch, director of the DNR’s Ecological and Water Resources Division.
After a legally required public hearing period, and heavy public opposition to the changes, things are staying as is for all but two SNAs.
“A lot of people wanted to see these areas stay the way they were. People were concerned about adding new activities, and perhaps increasing use of these areas. Some people didn’t like the idea of hunting occurring in some of these areas,” Hirsch said.
The DNR still plans on loosening restrictions on an SNA in central Minnesota and one near Duluth. Hirsch said that is to help control animal overpopulation.
Public comment for those will go until September 2 at 4:30 p.m.