The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that the state’s Walk-In Access program will continue thanks to a grant.
The Walk-In Access program provides public hunting access to private lands and pays landowners to allow that access. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the federal grant of $1.67 million for three years on August 17.
The grant means that hunters in western and south central Minnesota will continue to have access to more than 22,000 acres of existing WIA hunting land, says the DNR. It also says that hunters will get at least 8,000 additional WIA acres over the next three years.
“We are thrilled to receive news of this grant award,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “These funds open up more opportunities for hunters, especially in areas of the state that are predominately privately owned. The funds also help enhance habitat on these lands.”
WIA sites are open to public hunting from Sept. 1 to May 31, with no additional landowner contact needed. Hunters must have a $3 WIA validation on their hunting license to legally access WIA lands.
The DNR launched WIA in 2011 to increase hunting opportunities in western and south-central Minnesota. In 2015, there are 22,800 acres enrolled in WIA across 31 counties. Bright yellow-green signs mark boundaries of the 200 sites.