News from the DNR

DNR to host employment seminar for military veterans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a veteran employment seminar Jan. 3 in St. Paul. Many veterans want to work in a natural resources environment, and many military skills translate into DNR positions.

“If you’ve served in the military, you probably have a lot of experience in many of our professional areas,” said Don Matthys, DNR management resources regional supervisor and U.S. Army retired.

At the seminar veterans will have the opportunity to talk to DNR staff who work in the areas of logistics, fisheries and wildlife, informational technology, GIS and mapping, forestry, operations, communications, safety, real estate forestry, enforcement, human resources, engineering and landscape architecture and more. It’s a chance to find out from those who work it every day what the different job responsibilities include, education requirements, and how military work experience translates.

Human resources staff will provide information on how to apply for DNR jobs, set up job searches, and receive job posting notifications.

Veterans will also be on hand to answer questions about how to successfully juggle military — civilian commitments. Information on DNR veteran support resources will also be available.

“I can’t imagine a more military friendly employer,” said John Peterson, DNR emergency planner and currently serving with the 2-135th Infantry MN National Guard. “The DNR has always been incredibly supportive of my service in the National Guard.”

This event is free and will be at the DNR Headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55101. Space is limited so, registration is required. Register for a time slot between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Go to:

Veterans will receive a welcome packet with additional information when registration is confirmed.

The DNR is Yellow Ribbon Company — a veteran friendly employer.

State’s official Christmas tree harvested from General C.C. Andrews State Forest

A 30-foot-tall white spruce, selected as the state’s official Christmas tree, was cut down today in the General C.C. Andrews State Forest, near Willow River.

The tree is set up at the governor’s residence, 1006 Summit Ave., St. Paul. The tree will be lit Monday, Nov. 27.

DNR staff and the Conservation Corps of Minnesota cut the tree on the Friday before Thanksgiving each year from one of 59 state forests. However, the search for just the right tree begins months before. DNR foresters keep an eye out for a tall tree that’s nicely shaped and well filled out. It also needs to be in a location where it will not be damaged when dropped and then easily pulled out and loaded onto a trailer.

Minnesota’s state forests provide clean air and water, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, timber and special forest products. This year, small businesses are making 150,000 wreaths with balsam boughs harvested from state forest lands.

The estimated annual sales for Minnesota companies producing holiday wreaths exceed $23 million and Minnesota’s public lands support a large share of this economic activity.

Each holiday season, half a million Christmas trees are harvested from private tree farms in Minnesota, contributing about $30 million to the state’s economy. For each tree harvested, one to three trees are planted. Real Christmas trees store carbon during their lifespan. They can be chipped for mulch when the season is over, making them an environmentally friendly choice.

More information and details on viewing the tree is on the state Christmas tree page.

DNR releases draft Little Rock Creek Area plan for public review

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released a public review draft of a five-year action plan for the sustainable use of groundwater in the Little Rock Creek Area, in central Minnesota, south of Little Falls.

The plan and a feedback survey are available on the DNR Little Rock Creek Area webpage at Comments will be accepted through Dec. 22.

The DNR launched the planning process in response to evidence that groundwater use was affecting the quality of Little Rock Creek, a designated trout stream. Well pumping tests in the area indicated that groundwater use was depleting the stream.

A statewide watershed health assessment indicated that water appropriation in the Little Rock Creek Area was high. Additionally, a Minnesota Pollution Control analysis found that cumulative groundwater use across the area was reducing stream flow.

The DNR’s draft plan is designed to ensure that groundwater use in the Little Rock Creek Area will continue to support local economies, be protective of the environment and provide for continued outdoor recreation. The DNR created an advisory team that included local irrigators, residents and government officials so the agency could hear and consider different perspectives as the plan was developed.

The DNR will host a public meeting Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Little Falls Community Middle School Commons, 1000 1st Ave. NE, Little Falls. DNR staff will answer questions and provide opportunities for comment on the draft plan. More details will be available closer to the event.

“The DNR recognizes the importance of groundwater to agricultural irrigators, livestock operators, small businesses, municipalities and individual families in the Little Rock Creek Area,” DNR project manager Mark Hauck said. “Groundwater is the source of domestic water for nearly 6,000 local residents. As the area’s economy and population continue to develop and grow, groundwater will become even more important.”

The draft action plan lays out the steps that the DNR will be taking over the next five years to better understand the relationship between groundwater use and the ecosystems of Little Rock Creek and work with people from the area on ways to manage water use in the future. No permit modifications will be made during this period.

In addition to the public meeting, questions may be addressed to Mark Hauck at or 320-223-7846.

DNR seeks designs for Minnesota’s 2019 turkey stamp

Wildlife artists can submit entries for the 2019 Minnesota Wild Turkey Stamp from Monday, Dec. 4, through 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15.

The cost of a turkey stamp is included in a turkey license, but pictorial stamps are sold as collectables. In the contest, the eastern wild turkey must be the primary focus of the design.

Artists are prohibited from using any photographic or other electronic product as part of their finished entries. Winning artists may issue limited edition prints of the artwork and retain proceeds.

Final judging is open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, at DNR headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, in St. Paul. The public is welcome to come and view the winning design 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Dec. 22.

Revenue from stamp sales is dedicated to wild turkey habitat management. Extirpated from Minnesota around 1900, wild turkeys now thrive throughout nearly all of Minnesota but the extreme northern forested portions of the state.

For more information on stamp contests, guidelines for submitting work, and to sign up to receive regular email updates on stamp contests, visit Contest guidelines are also available from the DNR Information Center by calling 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.