DNR - Forestry and Wildlife
The Cloquet DNR Office houses the Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife. Located at their new office in the Cloquet Business Park at 305 Business Park Drive East, we had a great visit with Melissa, Craig, and Laura and are here to share their mission with you.
The Cloquet Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Office houses two divisions – Forestry and Wildlife. The Forestry Division is responsible for over 220,000 acres of land extending over Carlton and South St. Louis counties and has seven permanent staff plus two seasonal staff, all of whom are trained in fire suppression and work cooperatively with surrounding agencies and jurisdictions. The DNR conducts outreach and education on fire prevention. Last year they were in the Fourth of July parade in Cloquet, expanding their visibility and presence in the community. Burning permits are essential and provide safety information; 95% of fires are human-caused where fires have not had a permit. DNR burning permits can be obtained online and are suitable for the whole year; there are also free permits from local fire agencies in many cases.
Forestry Division staff work to manage state lands for forestry and logging under sustainable forest management practices and permitting. Staff actively is involved in forestry replanting as well. State lands are managed for many uses, including habitat, recreation, trails, and more. The DNR also works with private land owners with 40 or more acres and is available for consultation working with them. They also work with schools on forestry education and work cooperatively with cities on tree planting guidance.
The Wildlife Division has three staff and covers the area of Carlton, Pine, and South St. Louis counties. They conduct various activities such as habitat improvement projects and partnering with conservation groups such as Pheasants Forever. The Division is active utilizing prescribed burns to maintain landscapes. They also conduct facilities work for walking trail access and parking. In wildlife management areas, the Division also surveys wildlife populations examining disease and health factors for wildlife management. They also provide wildlife education, and if you contact their office to schedule an appointment, as the staff is often out in the field working, they can set up a call or in-person meeting to discuss your concerns. They often meet with residents about nuisance wildlife. They also hold public input sessions on local wildlife issues such as deer management, registration for trapping, etc.
With their move into the Cloquet Business Park in June 2021, they hope that the facility will provide more conducive space for training, heated facility storage, an opportunity to grow their facility campus, and a more recognizable land spot for the public than their South Hwy 33 office did.
To contact the Cloquet DNR Office, call Cloquet DNR Wildlife at (218) 878-5661 or Cloquet DNR Forestry at (218) 878-5641.
They find that sometimes the public will stop into their office assuming that they sell licenses and state park passes, which is not the case, gaming licenses are sold at outdoor retailers in town and state park passes and ATV/Boat registration can be done online. For the mission and structure of Minnesota’s natural resources, DNR facilities, services, and programs visit www.mndnr.gov. To locate a DNR Office near you by Division, use the DNR Office Locator: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/contact/locator.html. For general DNR questions, folks can call the DNR Info line at 888-MINNDNR or (651) 296-6157.