Banks-Heron Lake WMAs Tree Planting

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
Start Date
January 2013
End Date
June 2016
Counties Affected
Project Overview
Banks WMA - This unit consists of 312 acres of wetlands, woods, food plots and grasslands located outside the city of Windom in Cottonwood Co. Two WPAs, two WMAs, and numerous acres enrolled in RIM and CRP are located in close proximity to the unit creating a nice complex for wildlife. The 4-acre tree planting site is an old crop field adjacent to a large oak grove on the south side of the wetland on the WMA. The grove and south shore of the wetland contain numerous old growth bur oak trees that provide abundant mast for deer and other wildlife. The old crop field was previously used as a food plot, but a recent addition to the WMA allowed the food plot to be moved to a more favorable location. Restoration of the field to native grasses is not feasible since misc. trees are already severely invading the edges of the field, and continued tree invasion is inevitable. The field is located immediately west of the grove, and prevailing northwesterly winds in the winter tend to bury a large portion of the grove with snow. Our goal with this Eastern red cedar planting is to create a snow catch for the oak grove while providing thermal cover adjacent to a natural food source. The planted cedars will act as a snow catch, increasing the mast available to wildlife during winters with abundant snow, and will also provide additional thermal cover for the large deer herd that winters on the unit. Heron Lake WMA (North Heron Subunit)- This unit contains 238 acres of wetlands, grasslands, woody cover, creek, and food plots located south of the town of Heron Lake in Jackson County. Thousands of acres of RIM, CRP, WMAs and wetland habitats associated with Heron Lake are located adjacent to the WMA. The 6-acre project site is located on the southeast side of the WMA adjacent to Jack Creek. The site was farmed up until 1999. Native grasses were seeded in 1999, but have largely been replaced by reed-canary grass (RCG) due to the site's prevalence to flooding. A thermal cover spruce/cedar planting and corn food plots are already established on the WMA; but the addition of a willow/dogwood planting will increase the browse component and provide better wintering habitat for the large deer herd (100+) that winters in the area. RCG provides little cover/food for wildlife during fall/winter, establishing the shrub patches along the creek will enhance the area for deer, pheasants, and a host of other wildlife species.
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
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