Minnesota Looking At Walk-in Access

ST. PAUL — The chairman of the Minnesota Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee says he plans to introduce legislation this session to create walk-in hunting access in Minnesota.

Walk-in access programs pay private landowners to voluntarily allow hunters access to their property.

“The time has come for a walk-in hunting access program in Minnesota,” Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, said in a news release. “Several other states across the country have walk-in access programs and are able to take advantage of federal matching dollars that are paid to landowners for the use of their land.”

Chaudhary said he’s setting up a series of planning sessions, open to anyone who’s interested, to determine the new program’s content.

Several sportsmen groups have supported walk-in access for years, and the Department of Natural Resources has studied the issue, recommending that Minnesota create a walk-in access program similar to the program that has existed in South Dakota since 1987.

Chaudhary also noted that at the recent Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance banquet, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., voiced his support for a Minnesota walk-in access program, urging Minnesota to take advantage of federal funding.

“Minnesota is currently leaving millions of federal matching dollars off the table by not having this hunting opportunity,” Chaudhary said. “A walk-in program has the potential to add significant acres of opportunity for Minnesota hunters.”