As temperatures begin to drop and fall colors appear, folks all over the state will be heading out to the woods … in search of the elusive Bigfoot. Searching for Bigfoot, a.k.a. Sasquatch, has never been easier thanks to our new Sascratch scratch game featuring the legendary creature dressed for a day in the Minnesota Northwoods.

While Bigfoot’s existence may be up for debate, there are several impressive creatures native to Minnesota—animals like wolves, bison and moose— that have benefited from state lottery proceeds through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF).

Here are a few examples of how the lottery-funded ENRTF supports research projects, studies, rehabilitation efforts, and outreach/education initiatives for Minnesota wildlife.


Since 1999 the International Wolf Center in Ely has received several ENRTF appropriations to help educate people on wolves, their role in the ecosystem, and how humans and wolves can peacefully coexist. Most recently, an interactive educational exhibit was designed, constructed, and installed to celebrate Minnesota’s success in revitalizing the population of this endangered species.


The ENRTF has funded several projects to support and reintroduce bison, a once nearly extinct species native to Minnesota, into appropriate natural environments around the state. In partnership with the Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd, Dakota County is using ENRTF dollars to reintroduce bison to 130 acres of native and re-constructed prairie within the Spring Lake Park Reserve along the Mississippi River. Previous ENRTF projects have helped support and promote bison populations located at the Minneopa and Blue Mounds state parks.


ENRTF dollars support many projects aimed at studying and protecting Minnesota’s declining moose population and determining best practices for moose habitat restoration. One of the latest projects from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Research is using innovative approaches to understand how brainworms are transmitted between white-tail deer and moose to improve population management practices that protect moose.

Your partnership helps make projects like these possible, and for that we owe you a BIG thank you.