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New wildlife area dedicated near Sleepy Eye

August 30, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

BROWN COUNTY - In a field of native flowers and prairie grass - a new public land parcel - the Dennis and Mary Hoffrogge Tract of the Verona Wildlife Management Area was dedicated Wednesday 10 miles southwest of Sleepy Eye.

"Without partners, we couldn't do this," said Minnesota Department of National Resources (DNR) Southern Region Manager Dennis Frederickson. "It's not about the DNR trying to control more land. It's for people of all ages who want to get out and hunt and enjoy good, outdoor recreation - a very Minnesotan way of life."

Brown County Pheasants Forever Vice President Jeremy Berg said the event couldn't be more of a team effort.

Article Photos

Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Brown County Pheasants Forever Chapter Vice President Jeremy Berg talks Wednesday at the dedication of the Verona State Wildlife Management Area Dennis and Mary Hoffrogge Tract 10 miles southwest of Sleepy Eye.

"It's exactly the right way to do a 364-acre project like this," Berg added. "The Hoffrogges were willing sellers who approached us - the way it should be. It's a great place for sportsmen. We hope you can come out and enjoy this and other WMAs in Brown County."

Berg said much of the WMA funding - $364,000 - came from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund approved by state voters in 2008 to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for game, fish and wildlife.

Minnesota's outdoor recreation system includes WMAs to protect lands and waters with high potential for wildlife production, public hunting, trapping, fishing and other compatible recreational uses.

Chad Bloom, Southern Minnesota Regional Pheasants Forever Regional representative, said the project will serve people for years and years to come.

Project partners were the Hoffrogges, the Outdoor Heritage Fund, Brown County Pheasants Forever, New Ulm Izaak Walton League, Sleepy Eye Sportsmen's Club, Lost Dog and Fox Hunters Club, Minnesota Deer Hunters - Sioux Trails Chapter, Anoka County Pheasants Forever, the DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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