Twelve people were appointed to serve on Crow Wing County's park committee.
The Crow Wing County Board selected the people Tuesday. Each commissioner first appointed a person to serve in his district and stated why the person was chosen.
District 1 representative will be Felix Gangstad, Brainerd, who enjoys motorized and non-motorized activities; District 2, Terry McGaughey, Brainerd, who has a history of working with the Paul Bunyan Trail that would be valuable to the committee, and he was described as not biased; District 3, John Wallin, Pequot Lakes, who was described as knowledgeable and fair; District 4, Larry Wannebo, Manhattan Beach, who was said to have a lot of valuable information; and District 5, Lansin Hamilton, Deerwood, who is a former county land commissioner.
"I feel by district it (the committee) is well balanced," said Commissioner Terry Sluss.
Others who were appointed are Art Gensmer, Pine River; John Henke and William Meyer, both of Nisswa; Don Hickman, Crosby; Ray Griffin, Baxter; Don Hyatt, Brainerd; and Barb Uppgaard, Pequot Lakes.
The appointees range in experience from working with the DNR, being on other park committees and being involved in cross country ski clubs.
The county board invited the rest of the applicants to attend the meetings where they would be able to provide suggestions. Ed Larsen, county board chairman, said it was important to write letters to those who were not appointed to issue that invitation. He said if the board had appointed any more people the committee would be too big.
Commissioners will not sit on the committee, but will attend the meetings.
The board agreed that appointed members will not receive a per diem. Larsen said he does not believe many of the people who applied wanted to be on the committee for the money.
"These people, I think, are pretty dedicated," said Sluss.
Commissioner Gil Dewes agreed and said if the people applied to be on the committee they must be interested.
The meetings will be conducted by Peter Herlofsky Jr., county administrator, and Thomas Cowell, county land commissioner. Herlofsky said the meetings would most likely start at the end of March.
The two county officials worked on a mission statement and goals for the committee, which received commissioners' approval. The mission statement is to provide the county board with recommendations concerning recreational opportunities on county managed forest lands, which will serve to enhance the user's appreciation and knowledge of the environment. The county would like to have these recommendations by July 1.
The committee will review the current recreational facilities, the potential improvements to current recreational facilities and additional recreational facilities. Members will then look at how the county can best provide for these facilities.
If the committee recommends to the board that a park department should be established, it will also need to develop a mission statement for the department.
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