The public is invited to testify at the Jennie Lake Waterfowl Refuge hearing on August 25

Stephanie Moua

ST. PAUL, MN - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a public hearing to discuss a petition to reopen the Jennie Lake Waterfowl Refuge in Douglas County until the end of the waterfowl hunting season in 2024.

On Wednesday, August 25, the hearing will take place at 7 p.m. in the Urness Town Hall, 2160 County Road 1 SW, Evansville. The public is invited to submit feedback on the reestablishment of this waterfowl sanctuary. The reestablishment is required every four years to maintain the waterfowl refuge status.

The state's rich water resources broadly impact the diversified wildlife populations of Minnesota. While all lakes provide habitat for wildlife, the shallow water zone, which is defined by aquatic vegetation and is often less than 15 feet deep, provides the most critical wildlife habitat.

Jennie Lake is a 316-acre shallow lake that the DNR has officially classified for wildlife management under Minnesota Statute 97A.101 subdivision 2. The lake has a long history of being heavily used by migrating waterfowl, particularly diving and dabbling ducks. It is one of roughly 60 shallow lakes to be designated as a wildlife lake. This designation permits the DNR to regularly decrease lake levels to improve animal habitat and control motorized watercraft and recreational vehicles on the lake.

The DNR manages Jennie Lake and the surrounding uplands as a waterfowl refuge, which is closed to waterfowl hunting. The refuge status provides a safe haven for waterfowl to feed and rest, as well as hunting opportunities in the surrounding area.

The DNR's shallow lakes website has further information about wildlife lakes and the Shallow Lakes Program. (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/wildlife/shallowlakes/index.html)

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