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DNR dedicates new Wildlife Management Area

A 1,036-acre parcel of land northeast of Alexandria officially became the Roger M. Holmes Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when it was dedicated Saturday, May 3.

Holmes is a former director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fish and Wildlife Division. He also served as long-time chief of the division's Wildlife Section.

The land, which the DNR purchased for $1.8 million, features grasslands, wetlands and timber that provide habitat for pheasants, wild turkeys, waterfowl and many nongame species. A 1.4-mile portion of the new WMA borders the Long Prairie River.

"Roger was a trailblazer - a national leader in wildlife habitat conservation," said DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten. "A WMA in his name is an ideal way to recognize his conservation ethic."

During his 41 years with the DNR, Holmes lead efforts that made Minnesota one of the top states in wildlife habitat conservation. He worked to promote wetland conservation programs, state and federal land acquisition programs, federal farm programs and waterfowl conservation initiatives.

"Roger always said land acquisition is the most important thing we do," said Kim Hennings, DNR wildlife land acquisition coordinator. "The dedication of this wildlife management area to him is a fitting tribute to Roger and that philosophy."