6/5/2021 2:51:00 PM Cass County Board Addresses Land and Water Access Concerns
By Kyndra Johnson of the Press-Citizen
WALKER-Land Commissioner Kirk Titus requested the board approve the installation of a gate at the Homebrook Hunter Walking Trail at the Tuesday, June 1 regular county board meeting. Titus stated that this spring the gate at the parking area of the Homebrook Hunder Walking Trail had been pulled out and damaged, therefore motorized vehicles are entering the trail from this location. It was also noted motorized vehicles were accessing an unauthorized trail across from an aspen regenerated timber stand and traveling south on the snowmobile trail to the Homebrook Hunter Walking Trail. They are then crossing private property and eventually entering the non-motorized Pillsbury State Forest. In order to monitor and enforce no motorized activity, Cass County Deputies and DNR Conservation Officers recommended installing a gate on the west side of the hunter walking trail which will make it easier to enforce activity from the west. The motion was approved unanimously.
Titus then requested the board approve changing the Little Sand Lake water access from carry-in to trailer access. Todd Malecha, representing the Lake Hattie Association spoke to the board on the behalf of the association. It was stated that the association held a meeting over the weekend and unanimously opposed and signed a petition against changing the access from carry-in to trailer access. Malecha mentioned with the lake being only about 7 feet deep it is a relatively quiet lake for kayaks and paddle boards. Another concern mentioned by Malecha was that the access would be uncontrolled and the possibility of the transfer of aquatic invasive species into the lake.
County Administrator Josh Stevenson shared a statement from the Cass County forest resources management plan on the boat access policy which stated that no new accesses are to be built by the County and the County will seek to transfer all existing accesses to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, United States Forest Services, or local unit of government. It also notes, the County will insure through legal agreements that transferred accesses remain at the same or lower level of authorized use.
After consideration, board chair Jeff Peterson motioned to hold a public hearing at the Tuesday, July 6 board meeting in order to hear all interested parties. Commissioner Bob Kangas seconded the motion, with the motion passing unanimously.
Titus also requested approval on the acquisition of Government Lot 6, Section 1, township 139, Range 27 from Tracey Schaefer Wright and contribute $3,570, which is 10% of the purchase price, from the Forest Development fund as a cash match to the Northern Waters Land Trust Grant from the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. A motion was made and approved unanimously.