top of page

About Us


Friends of Minnesota Scientific & Natural Areas Inc. is a 50l(c)(3) not-for-profit organization formed to advocate for the establishment, use, management, and perpetuation of Minnesota's Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) in an undisturbed natural state. We are committed to seeing that outstanding examples of our natural heritage are protected for their intrinsic biological and natural features to be studied and preserved for present and future generations.


For almost 40 years the SNA Program was guided by the Outdoor Recreation Act which directs that SNAs be established first and foremost to protect and manage habitat for all native species, natural communities, and landforms to provide opportunities for public education, nature observation, and research. Our mission supports introducing the public to SNAs through field trips and education.


We started organizing in 2012 when a number of citizens recognized a threat to the purposes of state natural areas due to “mission drift” taking place in the DNR.  Three SNAs closed to public hunting and trapping were suddenly opened to these activities with no biological justification. The majority of Minnesota’s public had no way of knowing that this had taken place. Furthermore, there was no public notification that top levels of the DNR were embarking on a major programmatic change in the SNA Program, one that identified up to 90 more natural areas to be opened to a broad range of recreational uses inconsistent with the purpose of SNAs.


Due to our efforts a public outcry developed with many people, newspaper articles and editorials speaking out against the DNR actions to open additional SNAs to many potentially damaging recreational uses. Additional concerns were expressed by legislators and organizations. This outcry culminated in a temporary halt to opening SNAs to other inconsistent recreational uses that pose a threat to the plants, animals and traditional users of SNAs.


Today, FMSNA is taking an active interest in promoting additional funding for the acquisition and management of SNA statewide, by working with the SNA Program, other organizations and members of the legislature to ensure adequate financial resources as well as ensuring additional threats do not jeopardize the resources of SNAs


For more about our Mission Statement and Goals, click here.


For our Board and Staff, click here.


To become Member, click here.

bottom of page