Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Proposed Land Exchange Along Gunflint Trail On Hillside Overlooking Grand Marais

The Minnesota DNR is proposing to trade roughly 320 acres of public recreation land along the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway on the hillside above Grand Marais. The land would be traded to a Mr. Larry Dewester for about 400 acres of mostly cutover lands he owns in a remote area north of Hovland.

The lands to be traded by the DNR stretch from the "old ski hill" on the west to the Pincushion Mountain overlook and ski trail system on the east. The land also wraps around the northern portion of the Cedar Grove Business Park as well as encompassing over a mile of the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway.

Currently, these lands are primarily used recreationally with the North Shore State Trail and Superior Hiking Trail either abutting or passing directly through them.
Sometime during the last week of November the Cook County Assessor and City of Grand Marais Administrator were notified of the proposal by the Two Harbors Area office of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. At that time the state agency requested that the two local governmental bodies provide comment by December 8th for consideration by its North Shore Field Team internal review of the proposal to be held on Thursday December 14 in the Two Harbors area office.

However, neither local agency will meet in that short time frame, and thus, both the city and the county will discuss the proposal at their next scheduled meetings. The city planning and zoning board will discuss the proposal at 4:30 PM on Wednesday December 6. The Cook County Board of Commissioners will take the matter up at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday December 12. The Grand Marais City Council will visit the issue at 4:30 PM on Wednesday December 13.

Anyone wanting to comment on this proposed land trade should either contact their local representatives or attend these meetings.

The DNR’s North Shore Field Team will discuss the issue at its December 14th meeting in Two Harbors at which time it will review local governmental comments and make a decision on whether to proceed with the proposal by sending it on up to the Regional Office. While the December 14th meeting is not public one may send comments for consideration to the Two Harbors Area DNR supervisor at

Article by Jim Raml, Seagull Lake, Gunflint Trail


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