6/7/2018 2:00:00 PM Cass seeks grant to buy forested, environmentally sensitive land
MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent
WALKER-Cass County commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday, June 5, to support a joint effort to seek state money to buy land within the county for future preservation.
The resolution passed on the condition any specific land purchases must first be approved by the board and that those purchases must follow the county's policy of no net loss or net gain of county public land.
The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy and Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape are partnering to seek $5.9 million from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Council, which chooses conservation projects to recommend the Legislature fund from the state's three-eighths cent sales tax.
The group proposes to use the state money to buy environmentally sensitive land in the 3-mile buffer zone around Camp Ripley and the 10-mile sentinel zone extending farther out around Camp Ripley.
They also propose seeking this grant to purchase forested land in an area ranging from south of Little Falls to north of Hackensack, roughly to the south border of Chippewa National Forest.
Emilee Nelson represented the Conservation Fund Tuesday in outlining the proposal for the county board. Todd Holman of the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscapes also spoke.
Their plan, if the project gets state funding, would be to buy the land, then transfer ownership to a local government. There are no sites currently identified for Cass County ownership.
There are two sites in Sylvan Township proposed for purchase, which would transfer to that township. One 55-acre site abuts Kramer Lake. The other 80-acre site lies about a half-mile north of the Gull River.
The Sylvan Town Board voted to support the concept of acquiring the two parcels, according to a letter the township sent to Holman provided to the county board.
Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.