The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Pheasants Forever and the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society will host a dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, to celebrate the dedication of the 955-acre Cupido Wildlife Management Area near the town of Syre, Minn., in Norman County.

This new WMA features native prairie, which is one of the rarest ecosystems on the planet, and adds to an extensive public lands complex in the area now totaling more than 5,450 acres.

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“This property is located within some of the best remaining habitat for the greater prairie chicken in Minnesota’s northwest corner,” Rob Baden, DNR Detroit Lakes area wildlife supervisor, said in a statement. “We are grateful to have such a strong partnership with the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, Pheasants Forever, Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society and others who make critical acquisitions like Cupido WMA possible.”

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“Cupido” references the greater prairie chicken’s Latin name – Tympanuchus cupido – and Friday’s dedication precedes the annual meeting of the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, set for Saturday, Aug. 7, in Fertile, Minn.

Pheasants Forever and the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society partnered to lead the acquisition project. Cupido WMA was acquired through a $1.8 million grant from Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund and a donation to Pheasants Forever from Purina. Thirty-three percent of the sales tax revenue from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment is distributed to the Outdoor Heritage Fund. Those funds “may be spent only to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forest and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife.”

Representatives from the DNR, PF, MPCS, Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and other partners will attend Friday’s dedication.

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Parking for the dedication ceremony is located in Syre, on the southeast corner of state Highway 32 and 120th Avenue intersection. Those who attend should follow signage; a shuttle bus will provide transportation to Cupido WMA.

Cupido Wildlife Management Area in Norman County of northwest Minnesota. (Contributed/ Pheasants Forever)
Cupido Wildlife Management Area in Norman County of northwest Minnesota. (Contributed/ Pheasants Forever)