Contrary to its name, Dead Lake teems with life. At nearly 8,000 acres, it's the largest Natural Environmental Lake in Minnesota, supporting abundant fish, waterfowl, and other wildlife. For years, a battle raged between local conservation-minded landowners and would-be developers of over 260 acres of Dead Lake shoreline. Proposed development included 151 residential housing units, a general store, a restaurant, two swimming pools, a marina, and mooring facilities. In March 2007, The Trust for Public Land purchased an initial 60 acres of shoreline followed by the remaining 200 acres when the developer fell into foreclosure. The Dead Lake Wildlife Management Area hosts four rare species: the colonial water bird, Forster's tern, the pugnose shiner, and the bald eagle.
Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) and the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC).