When one thinks of the Minnesota DNR, you think of rangers out in the field enforcing the rules and maintaining public lands. I never really wondered about who handles all the inquiries that flood into the Minnesota DNR Call Center.
By "all the calls", we are talking over 90,000 phone calls and 25,000 emails every year. According to DL-Online, the DNR call center was created in the early 80's to handle the influx of questions and free up DNR officers to work out in the field.
The St Paul DNR Info Center employs 11 information consultants that handle over a hundred thousand questions a year. That's about 400 phone calls and emails every day, Monday- Saturday.
Most of the questions are ones you would expect like, fishing limits, license questions, you know, stuff like that. But they also get some pretty crazy questions like "I'm going to be filming a political ad on a lake with a Navy SEAL popping up from a hole in the ice. How big can we cut the hole?” or “Is it illegal to urinate outside my icehouse or over the side of my boat? I don’t like to, but sometimes it’s necessary.”
DNR Call Center Supervisor Justin Badini says "We welcome every question that comes in to us. We just want to educate people and get them the right answer and just help them,” he said. “And if we don't know? We'll get them to the right person that does. There are so many people out there that were new to the outdoors and didn't know, really, where to go for anything,” Badini said. “And so they called us."
Here are some of the rather offbeat questions the Minnesota DNR Call Center gets;
My mom wants to know if the dog licked a dead raccoon and then licked her face if she could get rabies.
Problem bear hitting the garbage, destroyed a locking dumpster because the guy had thrown dead ducks in it.
I’m working to make domestic cats non-releasable into the wild to reduce the impact on native birds. Who do I talk to?
There’s a bald eagle soaring in NE Minneapolis. Is it ok?
Everyone has a Covid problem, well I got a badger problem.
I have a woodpecker in East St Paul on Upper Afton Rd pecking on trees. Can they be trapped?
I saw an animal that I have no idea what it was. It was bigger than a deer.
I let my cattle out and a buck herded them back into the corral. Is that normal for deer to herd cows?
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