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Public land celebration is Friday near Rushmore

Event is part of the Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener in Nobles County.

Willie and Henrietta Elsing marker
An engraved marker at the Ransom Ridge WMA, to be dedicated on Oct. 14 near Rushmore, reads: The wishes of Willie and Henrietta Elsing: May the beauty of this land be enjoyed by many generations.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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RUSHMORE — New public hunting land will be dedicated in Nobles County at 4:30 p.m. Friday, as part of the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. The ceremony celebrates 295 acres added to Ransom Ridge Wildlife Management Area, located three miles south and 1.5 miles east of Rushmore.

The dedication ceremony will include comments from local leaders, conservationists, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen, and Explore Minnesota Director Lauren Bennett McGinty. The festivities also will include Worthington FFA students planting native grasses and wildflowers at the site. The public lands celebration is open to everyone.

Ransom Ridge WMA’s Elsing tract was made possible by Pheasants Forever and the Outdoor Heritage Council fund. It is named for the Elsing family, who chose to sell the parcel for conservation purposes.

“We’re honored that we could help with this project,” Nobles County Pheasants Forever president Scott Rall said. “We hope the public will enjoy this parcel for generations to come.”

The new Elsing tract of Ransom Ridge WMA, of which 43 acres was actively farmed, features rolling hills and prairie restorations that buffer Little Rock River, all of which will provide excellent habitat for wildlife and pollinators. Pheasants Forever and the DNR worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which constructed oxbow restorations on the Little Rock River to provide aquatic habitat for the federally-endangered Topeka shiner. Nobles County Pheasants Forever donated more than 1,000 hours of work for the restoration project.

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