The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has named Scott Roemhildt, who has nearly 30 years of experience building bridges between agriculture and conservation, coordinator of the Walk-In Access and Roadsides for Wildlife programs.
“We’re excited to have Scott leading these programs and look forward to the new energy he’ll bring to our conservation work,” said Greg Hoch, DNR prairie habitat team leader. “Both programs are priorities for us in the state’s Pheasant Summit Action Plan that guides work to increase and improve habitat for pheasants and other grassland species.”
Walk-In Access provides public access to private land and pays landowners by the acre to allow hunting from Sept. 1 to May 31. The program has continued to grow since it was introduced in 2011. In 2015, more than 22,000 acres were enrolled on 200 sites in 35 Minnesota counties. Eleven new counties have been added for 2016. The goal is to increase enrollment to 30,000 acres by 2018.
The Roadsides for Wildlife program encourages delayed mowing and low disturbance of permanent grassland along roads and highways in Minnesota’s pheasant range. These narrow strips of green provide thousands of acres of highly productive habitat for pheasants, songbirds, waterfowl, small mammals and pollinators.
“I look forward to working with landowners, partners and outdoor enthusiasts to enhance our efforts,” Roemhildt said. “Strong relationships with those who own and use the land are crucial to both of these programs.”
For the past five years Roemhildt served as the information officer for the DNR’s southern region. Before coming to the DNR, he worked for Pheasants Forever, AgStar Financial and Hubbard Milling Company. He began his career at the University of Minnesota.