Public Land celebration to be part of tenth annual Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener
New public hunting land will be dedicated in Nobles County at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, as part of the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. The ceremony celebrates 295 acres added to Ransom Ridge Wildlife Management Area, located three miles south and 1.5 miles east of Rushmore.
The dedication ceremony will include comments from local leaders, conservationists, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen, and Explore Minnesota Director Lauren Bennett McGinty. The festivities also will include Worthington FFA students planting native grasses and wildflowers at the site. The public lands celebration is open to everyone.
Ransom Ridge WMA’s Elsing tract was made possible by Pheasants Forever and the Outdoor Heritage Council fund. It is named for the Elsing family, who chose to sell the parcel for conservation purposes.
“We’re honored that we could help with this project,” Nobles County Pheasants Forever president Scott Rall said. “We hope the public will enjoy this parcel for generations to come.”
The new Elsing tract of Ransom Ridge WMA, of which 43 acres had been actively farmed, features rolling hills and prairie restorations that buffer Little Rock River, all of which will provide excellent habitat for wildlife and pollinators. Pheasants Forever and the DNR worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which constructed oxbow restorations on the Little Rock River to provide aquatic habitat for the federally-endangered Topeka shiner. Nobles County Pheasants Forever donated more than 1,000 hours of work for the restoration project.
“The benefit of this land goes beyond recreational hunting and wildlife viewing,” Rall said. “This new tract improves water storage capacity, water quality and groundwater recharge in Nobles County. We’re very grateful for the Elsing family’s decision to help us make this happen.”
As the Nobles County seat, Worthington has a population of 13,093 and is among the fastest-diversifying communities in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly two-thirds of its residents identify as people of color. Worthington is situated at the junction of Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 59.
Explore Minnesota (ExploreMinnesota.com) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (mndnr.gov) are assisting FORWARD Worthington (WorthingtonMNChamber.com) with this year’s Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.