A man who carried a new intensity two decades ago to forest management in Crow Wing County has died.
Former county land commissioner Lansin "Lans" Hamilton died Tuesday at the age of 81 at North Residential Hospice in Brooklyn Center.
Hamilton, a 1947 Crosby-Ironton High School graduate, served as the county's land commission from 1976-1990. Hamilton's career in forestry extended to more than 40 years.
"He was a great man," said Tom Cowell, who succeeded Hamilton as the county's land commissioner, but has since retired from the position. "He trained me well.
"Forest management improved vastly with Lans and he helped form the county's land and forestry advisory committee."
Cowell, who served as assistant land commissioner under Hamilton before his retirement, said that Hamilton was instrumental in several land and forestry projects, including improving the Milford Mine and establishing the MacMillan Bloedel wood products plant near Deerwood on what was then county tax-forfeited land. The plant, now owned by Weyerhaeuser, is currently closed.
Cowell said that Hamilton also was involved with projects around Lake Larson in Deerwood, which is now called the Lansin Hamilton Memorial Forest.
"He was all about expanding recreational opportunities in the county," said Cowell.
Crow Wing County forester Bryan Pike said Hamilton hired him as a forester 21 years ago.
"He was a personable man," said Pike. "I enjoyed and respected his knowledge in the industry of forestry. He was well-liked, well-respected and he did a lot in natural resources in the county.
"His death is hard to grasp ... It is unfortunate."
Funeral services for Hamilton will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Cascade United Methodist Church in Deerwood. Burial will be at the Lakewood Cemetery in Crosby. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Monday at the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby and one hour prior to services at the church.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5851.
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