Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TAX SALE LAND - DNR gets first dibs!

The people in the audience were having none of it! "It" was the explanation given by the DNR for purchasing land for the Swan Lake Wildlife Management area. The meeting was held in Nicollet in the mid 1980's. One of the most telling comments came from an area farmer. "The DNR can't manage the land they have---they have no business buying more!"

A recent report to the legislature indicates that things haven't changed much in the ensuing 25 years. The report indicates a lack of information about DNR easements. Lack of baseline conservation information, lack of clear legal boundaries, lack of monitoring i.e. lack of management. In short, no oversight. The only thing different from 25 years ago, is that the DNR controls more land than it did then. And with recent amendment sales tax money it looks like they will be trying to buy even more.

Nicollet County recently needed to put a process in place to sell tax-forfeited property. One of the first actions of the county board was to declare the property to be either conservation lands or non-conservation lands. Why? Because according to statute, when conservation lands come up for sale because of tax forfeiture, the DNR gets first dibs. end


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