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County adopts outdoor recreation plan

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Hubbard County officially has a comprehensive recreation plan.

“This has been a long time in the making,” said County Land Commissioner Chip Lohmeier.

The Hubbard County Board approved the 103-page document at their June 16 meeting.

In its introduction, the plan states, “Through this and other plans, Hubbard County strives to find the right balance between providing access to public lands and waters for recreation, while at the same time preserving and protecting the highly valued resources. This plan is a part of that effort and helps position Hubbard County to successfully manage ever-increasing demands on its public lands.”

Hubbard County owns and manages county-owned parks and tax-forfeited lands that, when combined with state lands, total over a quarter million acres, according to the plan.

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“It is a guide for the county to follow,” commented county commissioner Tom Krueger, who sits on the parks and recreation board. “It identifies key areas, like trails, that are attractive to our area.”

County commissioner David De La Hunt expressed support, saying, “It’s a good start. It’s a good road map. It can be looked at on a yearly basis to see if there are any changes that are needed.”

The plan states it will be re-evaluated, generally within 10 years, to identify any changes in demographics, recreational trends and perspectives that may dictate the plan to be amended as needed.

Motorized and non-motorized recreational use of county lands has grown in the last decade, according to the document.

“People live very hectic and busy lifestyles and those who are not familiar with a particular region do not have the knowledge of where to start looking for available recreational activities. They need easy access to maps, events and businesses or they need someone else to

handle it all for them. One trend suggests that mothers in particular are the primary person for planning an activity, so recreation must include awareness and planning with this in mind,” the report says.

The outdoor recreational plan is meant to address the varying recreational uses and help identify goals, priorities and partnerships. Stakeholders – like snowmobilers, hikers, bikers, anglers, hunters and others – were asked for their input.

The report states, “Most of the groups agree that use pressures are not excessive at this point, but are generally more concerned with ongoing growth and want to ensure that a solid outdoor recreational plan addresses growth and development in a balanced and sustainable manner for

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shared use of public lands. The groups also uniformly applaud Hubbard County for taking a proactive and collaborative approach to planning where the interests of all stakeholders are duly

considered and acted upon.”

The plan’s initial priorities are to do the following:

  • Expand and promote outdoor recreation beyond the summer season;

  • Provide outdoor recreational opportunities that are complementary to adjacent counties;

  • Identify improvements that are regionally significant in order to improve funding opportunities;

  • Develop or maintain partnerships for improved opportunities for funding and implementation.

In other business, the board did as follows:

  • Approved the quote for both subscription software and professional service costs to implement OnBase by Hyland Software and Capture Web. The subscription is $222,546 for three years and $211,550 for one year of professional services from Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc., Dublin, Ohio, as recommended by Social Services Director Brian Ophus.

  • Authorized the transfer of “Tract B,” as identified by a certificate of survey for part of Government Lot 8, Section 35, Township 141, Range 34, adjacent to the access to Big Sand Lake, to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, as originally contemplated by the board on Aug. 2, 1995.

  • Authorized release of retainage for south transfer station project to Schrupp Excavating, LLC in the amount of $7,300, after review from Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Retainage and additional landscaping work, in the amount of $8,587, was also released to Sunshine Lawn & Landscape LLC.

  • Approved fireworks display by PC Pyrotechnics in conjunction with 2020 Slugfest Fireworks for July 4, 2020 to be held on Lake Belle Taine.

  • Accepted the resignation of engineering specialist Henry Mack, effective June 30, and authorized re-filling the position.

  • Approved the submission of Environmental Assistance Grant Program application by the Solid Waste Department.

  • Approved timber appraisals for July 6 timber auction.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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