BAXTER — Forest management plans were before the Baxter City Council Tuesday.
The city approved a timber assessment and tree cutting plan for the Mississippi River Overlook Park in May. The plan is to cut 10 acres this winter. The city’s plan is to log off 32 acres during the next 10 years.
The Department of Natural Resources noted four city parcels, the
Mississippi Overlook Park, city center property by Forestview Middle School, Shipman property and Whipple Beach, may be included in the timber sale which could be prepared in August and bid in the fall with cutting in the fall or winter. Total tree cutting acreage planned is 75 acres, 10 at the Mississippi Overlook Park, 50 acres at the city center, 6 acres at Shipman and 9 acres by Whipple Beach.
As part of the discussion, Council member Jim Klein said there appeared to be a question of ownership for part of the land near Whipple Beach and whether Crow Wing County should be allowed to bid on the timber.
City Attorney Brad Person said there was no question about ownership as the Whipple Beach was deeded to the city from the state 10 years ago. Klein said there seemed to be some confusion and if the land did belong to the county it should have the right to bid on the timber.
“The Whipple Beach site is not county land,” Person said. “It hasn’t been for a decade. I think the land department is a bit confused. I know we have title. There is no doubt in my mind about that.”
Klein’s motion to approve the timber harvest for Mississippi Overlook Park, the city center and Shipman properties and table Whipple Beach until more information was available died for lack of a second.
The council approved the timber cutting for all the parcels, including land by Whipple Beach. Person said the land was clearly owned by the city and would be theirs forever as long as it was used for park purposes. If that was no longer true it would revert back to the state, he said, not the county.
The motion passed with Klein opposed.