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Johnny_Namakan

Resale of tax forfeit lands

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Johnny_Namakan

This sort of ties in a little with the thread on perm. stands on public lands. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the resale of tax forfeit lands. We have 80 acres up around Orr, in St. Louis Cty. Nobody owns any land anywhere near us. The closest private land to our shack is probably 5 miles, as the crow flies. That didn't used to be the case though. We bought this land 7 years ago, and of course we bought a plat map of the area around us. There are somewhere around 5 or 6 different 80 acre parcels that are listed as "tax forfeit" around our land. This is land that used to be private but has since become public lands. But because of it's location, nobody can get back to this area. We have access through a forestry gate that allows us to get within a mile of our property. We have to ATV the rest of the way in. But we travel 10 miles past the gate to even get there. Without gate access, nobody can get back there. Unless you want to walk! I think this land should be available to the public for purchase. It's not that we want/need any additional land, but somebody should be able to own it. It's not like I'm saying they should sell of parts of National Forests and National Parks. But I am saying that this land should be returned to the general public. More and more people are wanting to buy hunting land, but can't find any. We looked for years. It had nothing to do with money at all, we just simply couldn't find any in the areas we wanted. I say return these tax forfeit lands to the public and allow us to manage the property. I'm in the forest industry and have been for 7 years now. I even graduated from the U of M with a Wood and Paper Science Engineering Degree. That being said, private landowners have proven themselves time and time again to be some of the best forest stewards there are. We do a magnificant job of maintaining our forests for us and future generations. We also, "protect", our lands from over harvesting, which cause even aged forest conditions and the influx of pioneer species of trees, i.e. Aspen. Don't get me wrong, logging is a necessity, and my livelihood depends on it. But, nobody likes to see clearcuts everywhere you look either. We do plan on having our property select cut in the upcoming years, but that is something we will monitor closely. Anyway, I'm rambling. What are your thoughts on forfeit lands?

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Powerstroke

I owuld support something like this if there were certain restrictions placed on the property similar to conservation easements. If somrthing like this became commonplace I would not like to see million dollar manions pop up on land that had a purpose of hunting. As well I would hope that there aren't huge paved driveways into these areas. Inorder for this to work I htink there would need to be lots of rules.

Although I agree for the most part that landowners are pretty good stewards of the land, it is also the land owners that fill in swamps, regrade watershed areas and hire loggers to strip their land simply for the financial gains. I do agree that selective timber harvest is critial (I'm in Forestry too!!) but the public in general isn't smart enough to manage large tracts of land on their own. People like to think that owning land means they can do whatever they want with it.

I would support the idea.....that way an average guy like me might have a chance of buying land for less than $2500/acre.

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PerchJerker

Tax forfeited lands are owned by the county. Some counties sell them, some counties don't sell them. Even the counties that sell them usually sell only a few of the tax forfeit lands they hold.

Sales are usually once per year, auction sales. Most parcels put up for sale are ones that will generate lots of bidding, ie. road access, lots of neighboring private land owners, etc. The huge blocks with no road access and no private land owners won't sell for much and won't generate much tax revenue for the county, better for the county to hang onto them, let them appreciate, let the timber value grow, etc.

Call the county courthouse and ask about tax forfeit sales. If it's a good property, be prepared to bid against realtors for it.

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BLACKJACK

Why not leave it as tax forfeit land but open it up for public hunting? That way everybody can use it, not just one owner.

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Johnny_Namakan

Perch,

I checked with my county a few months ago regarding the auctions of the forfeit lands. They are once in the Spring and once in the Fall. They said they list the lands that are up for auction one month before the auction on their website. As you mentioned, the lands that are listed are almost all in the Duluth area and seam to be pretty much residential.

I agree with powerstroke, I don't want these lands to become residential either. I'm talking about these 80 acre parcels in the middle of nowhere that for the most part would only be hunting lands. I know Forest Segmentation is another consideration by the county. They don't like to see a couple parcels of private land stuck in the middle of state/county/federal lands. More difficult to manage (is the short answer)! Still, it would be nice for these to be returned to the public.

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Johnny_Namakan

Blackjack,

In some cases I agree. If it is currently being used by the public then fine. The 400 acres I used as my example, is not being used by the general public. It's ten miles down a locked forestry gate. I don't want to get political here, I'm pretty much middle of the road, but the Dems want a roadless forest. All gates are currently locked. The current administration has been trying to get the forest open to the public. We had to fight for months to get gate access. The only reason they granted it to us is because we own land beyond the gate. The general public can't even reach this land. We've had our land for 7 years, and not one single deer season has anybody been on these lands. It's a shame. We actually would like to see some people back there to help move the deer.

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snapcrackpop

Conservation groups like Pheasants Forever, or rather MN Deer Hunters Association have a lot of buying power. They then turn the land over to the DNR to be a WMA.

Is this an option up there?

Personally I would vote to preserve whatever wildlife lands we have left for our future generations.

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tealitup

Be careful with this issue. If tax forfeited lands come up for sale and it had trees on them the paper companies will usually outbid anyone else.

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bela0023

County Land Departments have very good professional foresters who manage the tax forfeited lands. They balance managing the lands for timber production and wildlife habitat. And unless posted closed for a specific reason, tax forfeit lands are open to public hunting.

Revenue earned form tax forfeit managed lands are given back to the school districts in which the timber is harvested to help fund schools.

We also need to preserve some of these larger publicly owned parcels of land for everybody to hunt on. Without public hunting grounds, we would lose a huge number of our hunting population! I know many people who like to hunt miles back from the main access road and get away from the crowds.

So all in all, I say enjoy the situation you've got, it sounds like you've got a great big hunting area to enjoy!

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Powerstroke

I doubt you'll have competition from the paper companies. They are selling off most of their land right now too.

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WalleyeWeasel

most of these remote areas were forfieted by lumber companies and mining companies, and if it goes for public bids the average Joe still wont be able to afford it. Because these same companies will buy it back , especially if they know there are minerals in the area.

And there are alot of minerals in Minnesota. This is why the state and counties wont sell it. This is going to be "THE TOURIST STATE" and we dont want mines and barron land here!!

So enjoy this public land, all to yourself, while you can,

Cuz the tourists are a commin !!

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