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The original item was published from 10/29/2019 8:43:00 AM to 11/13/2019 3:35:02 PM.

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Posted on: October 16, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Proper Uses of William H. Houlton Conservation Area

William H Houlton Fall 2019William H. Houlton Conservation Area (WHHCA) is one of Elk River’s most precious outdoor amenities. This 338-acre natural oasis was purchased from the Houlton family in 2014 by The Trust for Public Land, which works to conserve land for people to enjoy as parks and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Funding was provided through the Outdoor Heritage Fund, and upon acquisition of the land the property was donated to the city. Friends of the Mississippi River has been instrumental in its continued efforts to restore and enhance WHHCA as aligned with their mission to protect, restore, and enhance the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities region. With that protection and enhancement objective in mind, WHHCA visitors are encouraged to enjoy unparalleled bird watching, hiking, walking, photography, fishing and hunting (in accordance with state regulations) while also noting the following prohibited actions:

  • No dogs (one exception explained below)
  • No ATV or snowmobiles
  • No bike or horseback riding
  • No camping or camp fires
  • No organized athletic or social events such as a wedding

Retrievers used by waterfowl hunters in season for the express purpose of retrieving downed game serves as the sole exception to the WHHCA dog restriction. Retrievers must be on leash from the parking lot until the hunter reaches the designated waterfowl hunting zone. The purpose of this rule is to prevent dogs from disturbing ground-nesting birds and other wildlife; as well as to ensure quality hunting opportunities for users of the property.

To learn more about WHHCA, or other Elk River outdoor amenities please visit For more information on Elk River’s controlled archery deer hunts visit

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