Expansion of Crow Wing State Park is still in the works.
The Crow Wing County Board on Tuesday again supported a park boundary expansion. The state owns the park, which is off Highway 371 south of Brainerd on 1,700 acres.
The county board supported the expansion in March. However, the state needs to approve boundary changes at state parks before an expansion can occur. The proposal never made it to the state because of a time restraint, said Paul Roth, county park manager.
The first proposal was to add 408 acres to the park. Potlatch owns the land along the Mississippi River between the park and the Highway 371 bypass bridge.
Roth said a new proposal is to add 717 acres to the park, which includes the property from Potlatch. The additional land, which is privately owned, is near the river and state land.
Owners of the properties are Win Rudningen, Will Henderson, Robert Johnson and Richard Crandall.
"Property owners in the proposal agreed to be in the statutory boundary," said Roth, "which means the property in the state park is able to be bought in the future if it is offered for sale."
Roth said if the owners decide to sell their property the state park would be able to buy the land since it is in the park's boundary. However, it does not mean the park would be the purchaser.
Roth said the properties would help form a conservation connection along the Mississippi River, a natural resource and recreation corridor along the river near one of the fastest growing areas in Minnesota.
He said the property preserves the scenic views along the river, protects the natural resources, including wildlife habitat, erodible riverbanks and water quality and facilitates the connection of the Paul Bunyan State Trail from Brainerd to the state park.
"There's a lot of land in this system that needs to be protected," said Roth.
A bill for the boundary expansion likely will be presented in the 2002 legislative session.
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