Minnesota's scientific and natural areas program is 30 years old. What exactly is a SNA and how does it differ from other publicly owned lands?
"Scientific and natural areas are places where you can see examples of what Minnesota looked like prior to European settlement," said Bob Djupstrom, DNR SNA program supervisor. "Currently there are more than 130 SNAs in our prairie, coniferous and deciduous forest regions. The program's mission is to acquire and preserve places of ecological significance that contain rare plant and animal species, geologic formations and natural communities like old growth forests. All areas are open to the public for nature observation, and educational and scientific research purposes. Travel on these sites is by foot only. About 86 percent of the lands are open to some form of hunting. However, these areas are not for intensive recreation. As a general rule, there are no trails and no restrooms in SNAs. Visitors will find only interpretive signs and a parking area. To learn more about the SNA program or to find a location near you, log on to the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/ecological_services/sna/index.html.
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