Our mission is to work with citizens to conserve and manage the state’s natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life.
Our vision is to be the nation’s premier conservation law enforcement agency by providing outstanding service to citizens, high-quality outdoor safety and ethics training, and dedicated protection of Minnesota’s natural resources.
Conservation Officers have the full powers of peace officers while in the employ of the State of Minnesota. Their primary responsibility is to enforce laws relating to natural resources and recreational safety. The jurisdiction of Conservation Officers is statewide and on boundary waters, with powers that are concurrent with local authorities and units of government. Conservation Officers also are authorized to enforce federal laws pertaining to fish and wildlife protection through a formal cooperative law enforcement agreement with the U.S. Department of Interior and the DNR.
Conservation Officers enforce all state laws, rules, and regulations related to conservation, natural resources, and environmental protection, including but not limited to fish, wildlife, forestry, public waters and wetlands, minerals, pollution, aquatic vegetation, exotic species, solid waste, recreational vehicle and boating safety, and dangerous weapons. They also enforce DNR rules and regulations and general criminal laws on lands owned, administered, or controlled by the DNR, including state parks, state forests, state waysides, state scientific and natural areas, state trails, and archeological and burial sites.
The Enforcement Division has been and will continue to be successful at protecting Minnesota’s vast natural resources because of the importance we place on environmental protection and education.
In 1991, Minnesota environmental protection took a big step forward with the creation of the Wetlands Conservation Act, one of the most sweeping wetlands protection laws in the country. That led to the creation of the Wetlands Unit, staffed by Conservation Officers specializing in wetland laws and education. These specialized officers forged new ground and led the way in protecting Minnesota’s wetlands and setting an example for the nation in environmental protection.
Conservation Officers work from a 4×4 patrol vehicle, a snowmobile, an ATV, or from various watercrafts. And in the process, they work closely with people enjoying the natural resources they preserve and protect. Some specialist positions include: aircraft pilot, community liaison officer, special investigations, training officer, wetlands enforcement, marine unit, K9, and supervisory positions. After completing six months of extensive classroom and field training, Conservation Officers receive their initial station. Their training continues throughout their career.