WALKER - Cass County Land Department waited until the March deadline neared before setting a policy to permit one-year extensions for loggers who want to keep a sale open.
The Cass policy the county board approved Tuesday will permit an extension if the sale has been opened and paid in full. This will apply to all sales scheduled to expire in 2007.
The land department also will be permitted to transfer the sale payment balance in excess of the 20 percent advanced payment and 10 percent extension payment to other existing contracts as of Dec. 31, 2006, that the operator has not opened.
Land Commissioner Norm Moody said he expects some loggers to abandon their 20 percent down payment on high priced sales and turn some of those sites back to the county without cutting them. One already has, he said.
Those who bid more than $60 per cord for aspen last year can come ahead by forfeiting their 20 percent, then repurchasing the same site at $30 per cord this year, he noted.
The land department's main concern is to get the prime and aging timber cut before it gets too old to have high value, Moody said.
Chief Deputy Auditor Larry Wolfe said the 20 percent is not as high an amount as it might appear, because it is based on a lower appraised value, not the inflated high prices loggers bid the last two years.
All forfeited sales will be re-offered on the next county sale, Moody said.
The board voted to permit Minnesota DNR and U.S. Forest Service to conduct a prescribed burn in a marsh area along the Boy River near Federal Dam. When weather conditions permit, Moody said this area is burned annually to maintain the marsh for wildlife.
The board approved a land exchange to trade 73.2 acres in Kego Township to Carvin Buzzell for acreage he owns along the former railroad line south of Shingobee Island and Highway 371 where a trail connection is planned to eventually connect the Paul Bunyan Trail more directly to Walker.
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