REGIONAL— Minnesotans interested in deer populations in northern and central St. Louis County can take an active role in shaping state management decisions during an open public input process …
REGIONAL— Minnesotans interested in deer populations in northern and central St. Louis County can take an active role in shaping state management decisions during an open public input process starting Monday, Feb. 8.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets population goals as part of managing the state’s wild deer herd. The goals are updated on a staggered basis in 14 regional goal-setting blocks that comprise multiple deer permit areas. The population goals established in this process will provide direction for management in each goal-setting block for a 10-year period, with a midpoint review at the five-year mark.
This year, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission and support social distancing measures, the DNR is shifting to online-only engagement, rather than in-person workshops.
This is the second year of a four-year, statewide process, with several geographic blocks addressed each year. In northeastern Minnesota, the Border Uplands/St. Louis Moraines goal block and permit areas 119, 132, 171, 173, 176, 177, 178, 179, 181, 199 are up for review.
Details, including how to participate, are listed on the DNR’s deer goal-setting webpage.
The DNR will gather public feedback using its online community engagement tool, in two separate phases. During the first phase, from Feb. 8-28, participants may give input on whether the deer population should increase, decrease or stay the same, and share their ideas on deer management. During the second phase, from March 15-25, participants may provide feedback on proposed population goals developed based on input from the first phase and other information available to the DNR.
Background information about deer management and population goal setting will be provided. Participants who cannot access the webpage through a computer browser or mobile device may provide feedback by calling the local area manager listed on their deer permit area map for the permit areas of interest.
In 2019, the DNR updated its deer population goal-setting process, which previously obtained input through citizen advisory committees and in-person public meetings. The new format design allows more participants and encourages discussion across viewpoints.