The mission of the Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation (LLAWF) is to promote activities that preserve and sustain the natural resources in the Leech Lake Watershed and neighboring region of North Central Minnesota, including Hubbard, Cass, Crow Wing, and Aitkin counties, for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations.
The North Central Region of Minnesota is one of incalculable beauty, considered a premier recreational region of Minnesota. Its natural resources attract people to live, work, and play here and enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. It includes:
- 800 of Minnesota’s 4,500 managed fishing lakes.
- A majority of Mille Lacs Lake, the second largest lake in Minnesota, and all of Leech Lake, the third largest lake in Minnesota.
- Thousands of miles of rivers and streams, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
- Some of the “best-of-the-best” fish and wildlife habitat in Minnesota.
- Thousands of acres of public, state, and private forests.
- Hundreds of miles of recreational trails.
- A high degree of biodiversity that includes:
- 1/2 of Minnesota’s native Muskie habitat,
- Over 100 species of fish and wildlife of “greatest conservation need” including 29 on the federal or state endangered or threatened list,
- the largest breeding population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states, and
- healthy loon, deer, bear, grouse, migratory waterfowl and songbird populations.
The Minnesota DNR’s Long Range Plan for Aquatic Management Areas ranks this region of Minnesota as a high priority for conserving sensitive aquatic environments.