Today: Cory Netland is an area wildlife supervisor in New London, Minn., for the Department of Natural Resources. Netland was recently honored as Pheasants Forever Wildlife Professional of the Year for his efforts with other DNR wildlife specialists and the conservation group to protect and restore habitat in central Minnesota.


I am reading “The Use and Conservation of Minnesota Wildlife 1850-1900” by Evadene Burris Swanson. This was written as a Ph.D. dissertation in 1940 at the University of Minnesota. It is a fascinating read for not only wildlife professionals, but every Minnesota outdoors aficionado. I often read scientific research papers that pertain to my work in an effort to continuously improve and learn. Science guides nearly all the work we do at the DNR. The learning process is never completed when you ascribe to the scientific method.


I do not have a single social media account. As such, when I say I am following something, it is quite literal — I’m primarily following my four children when I’m not at work. Beyond them, I’m following the current legislative session. As frustrating as politics can be for many people, I believe it is our duty as responsible citizens to be informed, engaged and active in political matters that are relevant to our lives. I worked on the Minnesota River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), which restored 100,000 acres of habitat on private lands in the river’s watershed. That program doesn’t happen without legislation.

I receive a blog called “The Prairie Ecologist” by Chris Helzer of The Nature Conservancy, in Nebraska. Chris is a multitalented individual, and he presents thought-provoking, educational, sometimes whimsical topics on ecology and nature photography.


I’m enjoying the NCAA basketball tournaments. Also, I am keeping a keen eye on the spring waterfowl migration. The ducks are decked out in their full plumage this time of year; they are absolutely gorgeous. I’m also anxiously awaiting the emergence of prairie forbs such as pasque flower and native woodland spring ephemerals. I’ve seen pasque flowers emerging while there is still snow on the ground, and, believe it or not, spring is just around the corner.


I rely upon Minnesota Public Radio to keep me up to speed with current events, and I catch Sid (Hartman) and company Sunday morning on WCCO radio. I recently learned about a podcast called “Modern Carnivore.” It is intriguing to me. The focus is on reconnecting people to the true source of healthy and renewable meat sources and their harvesting. I’ve long been passionate about hunting, but I am interested in how to introduce others to the sport. Knowing where your food came from is one aspect of hunting that could be appealing to many.


My family is enjoying our seasonal maple sap collection and syrup production. We tap a handful of yard trees. We are planning to continue our annual tradition of camping across a selected state. This year is North Dakota. We stay almost exclusively in state parks, and stop at all National Park Service lands that have a Junior Ranger program. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, here we come!