Habitat & Conservation  |  05/08/2024

Pheasants Forever Acquisitions Expand Public Acres in Minnesota


New additions in Kandiyohi and Big Stone counties account for 800 acres of diverse habitat

Pheasants Forever is proud to announce two new land acquisitions enhancing upland habitat and public access throughout Minnesota’s primary pheasant range. Totaling 800 acres, the Lake Lillian Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) addition and the Thielke Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) addition are large, permanent protection projects contributing to diverse habitat for pheasants, waterfowl, and other wildlife.

Adding 150 acres to the 312-acre Lake Lillian WPA in Kandiyohi County, the new addition will connect two major Department of Natural Resources public water bodies, Big Kandiyohi Lake and Lake Lillian. Located in a Grassland Bird Conservation Area, this land supports 11-20 nesting duck pairs per square mile. Once the wetlands in the new addition are restored, they will also provide quality upland cover for ring-necked pheasants. 

Big Stone County is also expanding public access within an existing WMA. The Thielke Lake project includes two parcels that span across 650 acres of native and remnant prairie, as well as large sections of lake and marsh shoreline. This area is well-known as a habitat haven for waterfowl, pheasants, and white-tailed deer. 

“Both of these projects represent the benefits our acquisition program brings,” said Sabin Adams, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Minnesota public lands manager. “These tracts will provide access for outdoor recreation, improve water quality, and expand habitat for upland and wetland species. Any time we can protect lakeshore, particularly on shallow wildlife lakes, it is a huge win for conservation.”

These projects were made possible, in part, through partnerships with the Outdoor Heritage Fund, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Additional support was provided by PF & QF chapters, partners and members who contribute to the organization’s Build a Wildlife Area® program. 

In addition to habitat and access, Pheasants Forever’s permanent protection strategy provides solutions for the nation’s most complex sustainability issues including improved biodiversity, soil health, water stewardship, and rural economic development — while simultaneously prioritizing maximum impact for pheasants, quail, and other upland gamebirds.   

For questions about public land access in Minnesota, contact Sabin Adams at SAdams@PheasantsForever.org.