Lincoln Waterfowl Production Area

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In 2009, the Blue Earth County Chapter of Minnesota Pheasants Inc., was approached by the  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc. regarding a partnership on an exciting new project located in Lincoln Township.  The original project, a 520 acre (now 720 acres) Minnesota Valley NWR Trust, Inc. acquisition southwest of Lake Crystal, would be restored and converted into a Waterfowl Production Area under the management of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.  Our chapter committed $100,000 toward a grant for restoration work on the new Lincoln WPA as well as other WPA’s in Blue Earth County.

Other partners involved with the acquisition & restoration of this unit include but are not limited to: Le Sueur River Seeding & Conservation, LLC, Minnesota Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund, Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources, Outdoor Heritage Fund & Pheasants Forever.

The Lincoln Waterfowl Production area is located approximately 3 miles south of MN State Highway 60 on Highway 32, west of Lake Crystal. GPS coordinates: 44.030408,-94.284596

By leveraging Minnesota Pheasants, Inc. cash donation as well as other partners assistance, the Minnesota Valley NWR Trust, Inc. applied for and received two Conservation Partners Legacy Grants that would provide habitat restoration on Lincoln WPA and seven other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Waterfowl Production Area in Blue Earth County.  The area impacted by these grants are: Lincoln WPA, Watonwan WPA, Roberts WPA, Minnesota Pheasants WPA, Cobb River WPA, Howard Farm WPA, Evans Slough WPA and Shelby WPA.  The total project value of approximately $1,000,000 covers hundreds of acres.

Follow these links to find additional information regarding some of these WPA’s and the new Lincoln Waterfowl Production Area.
US Fish & Wildlife Midwest Region

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust

In 2011: Restoration work encountered a number of delaying issues due to wetness in the spring of 2011.  The time-line was set back to some degree but the bulk of the restoration was completed.  At this point in the restoration process approximately seventy small wetland potholes and one large centrally located basin had been restored.  In addition, there was approximately 400 acres of upland prairie. The site received signage and all boundaries were clearly marked.  Parking areas are present.

In 2012: The Minnesota Valley NWR Trust, Inc. acquired approximately 200 acres of adjoining property that was added to the Lincoln WPA unit.  CPL grants were awarded to assist in the restoration of these new parcels as well.  Minnesota Pheasants, Inc. provided the seed money for the restoration grants. The Lincoln WPA complex is the jewel of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Waterfowl Production Areas in Blue Earth County.  Additional restoration work on these new parcels was completed in 2013 – 2014.

We are very excited about the future prospects for this unit as it provides 720 acres of public hunting ground in Blue Earth County. The gallery contains photos of the complex including a map of the unit and the adjacent “Nelson WPA”. The aerial photos are courtesy of WhisperShots. Prescribed burn images are from a late fall/early winter burn in 2017.

This unit will continue to receive periodic restoration work, tree removal and prescribed burns as necessary.

Before & After Images:

Fall 2017 Prescribed Burn – 2018 Spring