Hubbard County, DNR discuss land trade

The DNR requests that a county tax-forfeited parcel at the Benedict Lake public access be conveyed to them. In return, the county wants the DNR to donate the northerly portion of the old trestle bridge to the county.


Hubbard County and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are considering a land swap.

The DNR maintains a public boat access on the river leading into Benedict Lake.

While reviewing the site for an upgrade, David Schotzko, area supervisor for the DNR Division of Parks and Trails, realized the boat ramp is completely on Hubbard County tax-forfeited land (TFL) by approximately 42 feet.

On Tuesday, March 21, County Land Commissioner Mark “Chip” Lohmeier informed county commissioners about conveying the parcel to the DNR.

“Well, we looked at that parcel, and said, you know why not give them the whole thing? It really doesn’t do the county any good. It’s mostly low ground,” Lohmeier said.


The entire TFL parcel is 27.5 acres. Its estimated market value is $56,300.

The parcel adjoins the Benedict Lake public water access, which is managed by the DNR, as well as the Paul Bunyan State Recreation Trail.

“Could we convey that whole parcel to the DNR at no cost? The county certainly is not making any money on it,” Lohmeier said.

In return, the Hubbard County Parks and Recreation Department is asking the DNR to donate
the northerly portion of the old trestle bridge to the county. The parcel is adjacent to Heartland Park and is currently managed by the DNR.

Rather than going through an “expensive” and “time-consuming” formal land exchange, Lohmeier said, “It would just be we convey this to them. They convey that to us.”

County commissioner Ted Van Kampen asked if the land by the trestle bridge is usable.

Yes, Lohmeier said, saying one idea was a seating area at that point. The county would need to give the DNR an easement for the Heartland Trail on the parcel.

“It’d be a nice land exchange,” board chair Tom Krueger said.


County Administrator Jeff Cadwell said, “It’s much more contiguous with what we need and vice versa back at Benedict Lake. It’s much more contiguous with what they need. It makes a lot of sense.”

General consensus of the county board was to move forward with discussions and conveyance.

In related business, the county board did this:

  • Accepted the low bid from Vogt Dirt Service, LLC, of Bemidji for aggregate surfacing in the northern end of Hubbard County. The quote was $569,526.
  • Approved a detour agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) during construction on State Hwy. 34 in Akeley this summer. Phased construction will require the detour use of County State Aid Highways 12, 23, 25 and 49, said County Public Works Director Jed Nordin. The county will be reimbursed by MnDOT for “road life consumed,” estimated to be $4,650.
    Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Accepted the quote from Future Forests, Inc. of Askov, Minn. for trench and spray herbicide on 91.8 acres at a rate of $92 per acre and for broadcast spray herbicide on 85.8 acres at a rate of $85 per acre. County Land Commissioner Mark “Chip” Lohmeier pointed out this is the sole company in Minnesota that does this work. He said these treatments will require 42.9 gallons of Tordon K herbicide at $96 per gallon and 5.9 gallons of Liberate surfactant at $35 per gallon. Estimated total contract value is $20,064.
  • Accepted quotes for seasonal forest road grading from Thelen's Excavating, Inc. at $75 per mile for forest road grading in the south and Gladen's Construction, Inc. at $107.55 per mile for grading in the north.
  • Approved 14 tracts for an April 17 timber auction.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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