Not stuck in an office: Kunst enjoys DNR work in Crosslake outdoors

The Duluth native has worked in Crosslake since April

Calie Kunst.jpg
Crosslake conservation officer Calie Kunst began working in the area in April of 2022.

The lakes area is known for outdoor opportunities in terms of recreation, but there are even a few career opportunities that still let one take in 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.

“By 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 interning with the Conservation Office in Duluth, and I just fell in love with it.”

The Duluth native grew up in the outdoors, spending lots of time camping and fishing. Naturally, making a career of those activities made perfect sense.

“I love the fact that I get to be outside,” she said. “The majority of the work is done outside on boats and ATVs, and during the hunting seasons we are outside a lot. I just enjoy not being stuck in an office. Every day is a different adventure and you can never predict what the day is going to bring.”


Kunst has worked with the DNR since 2018, serving in Remer before taking over in Crosslake back in April. In her brief time in the lakes area, she said the work she gets to do and the people she has been able to meet have made for a highly rewarding work experience.

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

“I really enjoy working on the Whitefish Chain. There have been a lot of people to talk to and good connections to make.”

Of course, she has yet to work in Crosslake during the winter, when the town’s population is significantly lower. That said, she does not expect her workload to decrease as the temperature does likewise.

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

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

“I think I’ll be in the Brainerd lakes area for a while – probably five to 10 years, if not more,” she said. “We are able to move around the state, but I like being up north and I don’t really want to go anywhere.”


Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at .

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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