Conservationist Haaland Honored Posthumously with Wildlife Area in Minnesota

Dennis Haaland WMA provides public access & wildlife habitat in memory of local conservation hero

Photo Credit: East Medicine Chapter of Pheasants Forever
Photo Credit: East Medicine Chapter of Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever

St. Leo, MN -( Pheasants Forever and local partners recently dedicated an 80-acre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near St. Leo, Minn., in honor of a Pheasants Forever volunteer legend, the late Dennis Haaland.

Honored by friends and family for his contributions to natural resources in southwestern Minnesota, Haaland passed away in 2010 while participating in his passion – hunting ring-necked pheasants. A charter member of the East Medicine Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Dennis Haaland, an avid hunter and long-time athletic director, was a driving force for the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat in Yellow Medicine County.

Founded in 1989, the East Medicine Chapter of Pheasants Forever has completed over 300 chapter projects which have benefitted over 2,500-acres of wildlife habitat in Yellow Medicine County. Haaland, a chapter committee member who garnered the respect and love of his community through his passion for the outdoors, played a significant role in the habitat work completed by the local chapter.

“Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts all suffered a huge loss when Dennis Haaland passed away in the fall of 2010 while doing what he loved most,” stated Scott Santjer, president of the East Medicine chapter of Pheasants Forever. “Dennis helped our local chapter and Pheasants Forever accomplish some amazing feats in Yellow Medicine County. It is an honor to stand on this new wildlife area and proudly dedicate a public hunting property in his memory.”

Known as the Dennis Haaland Wildlife Management Area, this public access property boasts 80-acres of wildlife habitat in Yellow Medicine County. Consisting of 23-acres of wetland, 20-acres of Conservation Reserve Program grasses, and 37-acres of crop ground which was seeded to native vegetation, the recently dedicated tract will serve as an oasis for many different wildlife species in southwestern Minnesota, including the ring-necked pheasant.

Partners involved in the purchase and dedication of the Dennis Haaland WMA include the Haaland family, East Medicine Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Yellow Medicine Chapter of Pheasants Forever, the Outdoor Heritage Fund, Bill Schuna, Bob Beugen, Roger Harms, Granite Falls Bank, F&M Bank Minnesota, Per Wickstrom, Sheldon Haaland, Robert Hoel, Butch West and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The Dennis Haaland Wildlife Management Area is currently open for public hunting. The newly established site is located along Spring Creek about 3 miles east of St. Leo, Minn. on County Road 3.

About Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members and 745 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $508 million on 475,000 habitat projects benefiting 10 million acres nationwide.