Make an Impact on the Carlos Avery Master Plan

For the first time since 1977, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is revising the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area (WMA) master plan, and they want your feedback!

While responses are not limited to Columbus residents, who better to provide feedback than those who enjoy the WMA being right in their backyard?

There are a multitude of ways for residents of Columbus and Carlos Avery visitors to get involved in the master plan revision process. Two meetings will be conducted, both scheduled for 6-8 p.m. The first meeting is in-person, scheduled for Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at the Carlos Avery WMA Office Conference Room located at 5463-C W. Broadway Ave., Columbus, MN 55025. If you'd prefer to attend a virtual meeting via teleconference or phone, your opportunity is Monday, March 6, 2024. Instructions for virtual attendance are available on the DNR's website.

At both meetings, DNR officials will present a brief overview of the WMA and the planning process, answer attendees' questions and take feedback.

In addition to the meetings, from now through March 15, 2024, interested parties may fill out an online questionnaire, which includes questions about how the WMA visitor utilizes Carlos Avery and what priorities the visitor would like to be included in this master plan.

Once the DNR has received all feedback from its various methods, it will draft the updated master plan for review in fall 2024.

Questions regarding the Carlos Avery WMA master plan should be directed to Adam Kokotovich, the Policy and Planning Consultant for the DNR Fish and Wildlife Division. Kokotovich may be reached via telephone (651-259-5186) or email (adam.kokotovich@state.mn.us).

Carlos Avery WMA is approximately 24,000 acres spread across Anoka and Chisago Counties, consisting of approximately 2/3 wetland and 1/3 upland. Popular for birdwatching, there is a 4,500-acre bird sanctuary closed to all trespassing, but the WMA is otherwise accessible to hikers, bikers and, during their appropriate seasons, hunters and trappers. To make hunting more accessible, the WMA features 18 wheelchair blinds for use during turkey season or special deer hunting events.