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Budget restrictions within the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will make it more difficult for fish and wildlife personnel to manage a variety of game species, including Kamloops rainbow trout and ruffed grouse. [News Tribune file] photos

Tight budget crimps DNR wildlife programs

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On windless days in early spring, Tom Rusch is sometimes faced with a choice. Does he run a ruffed grouse drumming survey, or does he do a prescribed burn to benefit brushland habitat for sharp-tailed grouse?

Rusch is area wildlife manager at Tower for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, one of a half-dozen such managers across Northeastern Minnesota. A tight budget already forces him to make tough choices, and the DNR's fish and game budget is likely to get tighter.

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