Minnesota DNR acquires land near North Branch, Harris

Tim Marion, the area wildlife supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, came to the Chisago County Board of Commissioners meeting June 3 to request board approval of DNR land acquisitions near North Branch and Harris.
Marion said the DNR has been working on obtaining the parcel north of Harris, 101.5 acres near county roads 30 and 59, for more than a decade.
“Mike Pehl is one of the landowners we’re working with,” Marion said. “We only work with willing sellers.”
The board approved that land acquisition by a unanimous vote.
The sale of the other area, 108.89 acres adjacent to the 533-acre Janet Johnson Memorial Wildlife Management Area, was also approved unanimously by the board.
“The proposed 108-acre expansion to the existing 533-acre JJWMA would provide a pristine wildlife habitat corridor between the Carlos Avery State Wildlife Management Area and the north branch of the Sunrise River floodplain corridor,” Chisago County Soil & Water Conservation District Administrator Craig Mell wrote in a letter to the board. “This property, along with the existing JJWMA, is home to a healthy mature pin oak forest and has several very diverse wetlands scattered throughout the property’s landscape.”
Marion explained both new wildlife management areas would be open to public hunting, and he commended the local chapter of Pheasants Forever, which had representatives in the audience at the board meeting, for securing grant money to aid in the land purchases.

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