The Red Lake DNR wildlife program is responsible for managing wildlife and their associated habitats for the benefit and enjoyment of the members of the Red Lake Nation. This includes activities designed to help maintain the viability of wildlife populations, including threatened and endangered species, found on Red Lake’s vast land holdings. The Wildlife Program conducts research on wildlife population levels and collects biological data on species important to Band members.
The Wildlife Program began in 1997, and has grown to consist of 3 full-time Biologists, 2 full-time Technicians, and up to 4 seasonal staff. Grant dollars have contributed to the growth and success of the program. Through various grants, over 2.5 million dollars have been awarded to the Wildlife Program during the past 10 years. These funds have been used to support staff, purchase equipment, and conduct research and habitat enhancement projects. Recent projects include: monitoring levels of big game, fur bearers, grouse, and American woodcocks, research on local waterfowl production, and habitat enhancement and restoration activities. Wildlife staff assists in the development of tribal wildlife harvest regulations and administers non-member hunting opportunities on tribal lands.
The program strives to promote educational opportunities for tribal youth by participating in the high school’s job-shadowing program, and by providing summer internship opportunities for university students. Several Graduate Students have conducted research projects on Red Lake project sites. Program accomplishments have been highlighted in a number of professional and popular publications, including; “The National Wetlands Newsletter”, “Birdscapes”, “Waterfowl 2000”, and “The Minnesota Waterfowler”.