The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced on Monday that it was adjusting some of its services, which includes postponing some upcoming events such as public meetings and open houses.
This will affect an open house where the public was invited to talk to local Glenwood Area wildlife staff on the state of the local deer herd that was scheduled for March 26 at the DNR offices in Glenwood. The DNR was scheduled to host these open houses to talk about deer and deer management at 35 different locations in the state this spring.
Open house attendees could discuss their general concerns about deer, and learn about last year’s harvest data for their individual deer permit area (DPA). Questions about chronic wasting disease and information on wolf management and the process to update the DNR’s wolf management plan were scheduled to be available at these open houses.
The DNR made its decision with guidance from state health officials as organizations around the world try to limit the spread of COVID-19. Those who want to talk about any topics relating to deer that they would have brought up at the open house are encouraged to use online and telephone options that are available.
The phone number for Glenwood Area Wildlife is (320) 634-7337 and the general email address is email@example.com.
Below is the complete release from the DNR on recent operating changes made:
State park and recreation area changes
State parks, recreation areas, campgrounds, and other public lands remain open to the public for people to enjoy.
“Now is a great time to get outdoors,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “Parks are a great place to do some social distancing and enjoy the health benefits of nature.”
However, to ensure we meet state health guidance, visitors will experience some changes in services available. State park visitor centers, contact stations, and other ancillary buildings will be closed until further notice. With contact stations closed, visitors will pay through self-pay and informational kiosks located at each facility. Visitors are also encouraged to purchase daily and annual park passes through the online portal before they visit.
For the time being, state parks naturalist programs are canceled. We are working to determine which of these programs are compatible with social distancing and will resume naturalist programming to the extent possible.
State park bathrooms, vault toilets and shower buildings that are currently open will remain open, with increased cleaning protocols.
Public urged to use online and telephone options
The DNR also is encouraging the public to use social distancing options for doing business with the agency, such as buying or renewing licenses online, calling rather than stopping by your local DNR office, using online or telephone reservation systems, and using email or phone to request information from the DNR’s Information Center.
The DNR has adopted Minnesota Department of Health social distancing guidelines, such as maintaining 6-10 foot distances, at front-counter operations with the public.
Events that are postponed at this time:
All safety education training, including firearms safety training.
Deer open houses.
Elk input meetings in northwest Minnesota.
Because this is an evolving situation, please check with your meeting contact or the DNR website for additions and modifications to this list.
For more information
Contact the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367). Email the center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours are 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday.