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DNR has some rules of pandemic road


May 1, 2020

The current pandemic response in Minnesota calls for people staying at home as much as possible to avoid spreading COVID-19. But orders from Gov. Tim Walz do allow for outside activities. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has some rules of the road when heading outdoors at this time.

Can I still go outside?

Executive Order 20-33 allows people to be outdoors, engaging in activities such as walking, running, and fishing and hunting. Minnesotans can continue to enjoy parks and other public recreation lands. We urge outdoor enthusiasts to:

Stay close to home. Do not congregate when outdoors. Follow social distancing guidelines.

What is open?

Minnesota’s waters. You can fish if you have a license. Normal seasons and regulations apply.

Hunting seasons. There are no changes to upcoming hunting seasons. Normal regulations apply.

State parks. Bathrooms, vault toilets and shower buildings currently open will remain open. Other facilities are closed (see below).

Public land. Wildlife management areas, state forests, and Scientific and Natural Areas are open for recreation. Campgrounds are closed.

Public water accesses. Most state-managed public accesses are open, though the availability of amenities, such as docks, are contingent upon seasonal maintenance.

What is closed?

The following DNR-managed facilities:

• Campgrounds, group camps, remote and dispersed camping on all DNR-managed lands.

• Camper cabins

• Yurts

• Overnight lodging facilities

• Group centers, trail centers and other ancillary buildings

• Visitor centers

• State park contact stations

• Grand Portage State Park

Cancellation and modification fees are waived during this time.

Facilities and lands not administered by the DNR may have restrictions. Check with local authorities.

Business with DNR?

We urge the public to use the following to do business with the DNR:

Buy or renew licenses online.

Renew your watercraft, ATV, snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle or ORV online. You will receive a temporary permit for immediate use. Some deputy registrars continue to offer limited services. Check with your local deputy registrar for details.

Make or change camping and lodging reservations online or by phone at 866-857-2757

Use email or phone (888-646-6367) to request information from the DNR Information Center

State parks information

Minnesota’s state parks remain open and still require a vehicle permit. With contact stations closed, visitors can purchase permits through self-pay and information kiosks located at each facility. Visitors are encouraged to purchase daily and annual passes online before leaving home.

Boat registration

You may renew your boat registration online.

Public meetings

While in-person public meetings have been canceled for now, public engagement on DNR issues and projects is a top priority. As such, the DNR is exploring a range of digital options to support public meetings and other critical engagement opportunities. Please check this page frequently for updates about how the DNR will accomplish this.

Burning permits

We are proactively issuing burning restrictions immediately after the snow melts to reduce the potential for wildfires and emergency response. These restrictions apply to counties where DNR administers open burning; several counties that independently regulate open burning are also applying restrictions. We will grant variance permits only for agricultural field and construction site preparation, and limited prescribed burning. Call your local DNR forestry office to seek a variance. For more information go to the DNR burning restrictions page. This is not a total burning ban. Small recreational fires or campfires are still allowed during these burning restrictions.

Email the DNR’s Information Center or call 888-646-6367.


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