Not stuck in an office: Kunst loves DNR work in Crosslake outdoors – Pine and Lakes Echo Journal

The Lake District is known for its outdoor activities in terms of recreation, but there are even a few career opportunities that still allow you to enjoy the wonders of the outdoors in the area.

For new Crosslake Area Conservation Officer Calie Kunst, a job with the Department of Natural Resources was an easy choice.

“From my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to be in law enforcement, but I didn’t really know where I wanted to work,” Kunst said. “I ended up doing an internship at the Conservation Office in Duluth, and I fell in love with it.”

The Duluth native grew up outdoors, spending a lot of time camping and fishing. Naturally, a career in these activities made perfect sense.

“I like the fact that I can be outdoors,” she said. “Most of the work is done outdoors on boats and ATVs, and during hunting seasons we are outdoors a lot. I just like not being stuck in an office. Every day is a different adventure and you can never predict what the day will bring.

Kunst has worked with the DNR since 2018, serving at Remer before taking over at Crosslake in April. During her brief stay in the Lake District, she said the work she did and the people she got to meet gave her a very rewarding work experience.

“People here have been very friendly and they seem to really respect law enforcement which I love. All of my contacts have been positive throughout the few months I’ve been here. I get a lot of thanks when I’m on the water, which is always a good feeling.

“I really like working on the Whitefish channel. There were lots of people to talk to and good relationships to make.

Of course, she hasn’t yet worked in Crosslake during the winter, when the town’s population is significantly lower. That said, she doesn’t expect her workload to decrease as the temperature does the same.

“There are still a lot of snowmobile trails here that people use and a lot of people ice fishing,” she said. “I think I’ll stay just as busy.”

Kunst’s future is, of course, in flux – she’s getting married next week – but if she can help it, she said she wouldn’t mind putting down her roots in the Crosslake area.

“I think I’ll be in the Brainerd Lakes area for a while – probably five to ten years, if not longer,” she said. “We can move around the state, but I like being up north and I don’t really feel like going anywhere.”

Dan Determan, Sports Writer/Personal Writer, can be reached at 218-855-5879 or [email protected] Follow him on Facebook and Twitter at


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