Two Northland legislators say they’ve brokered a tentative agreement with Minnesota’s largest private landowner to maintain public access to the company’s land for hunters and snowmobilers through next spring.
In the wake of a change in Minnesota tax law for forested land, Mississippi-based Molpus Woodlands Group had put up “Keep Out” signs on access roads across much of the thousands of acres of land it owns in northern St. Louis County. The move came after the state Legislature cut a tax break the company received for conducting sustainable forestry and allowing public access from more than $2 million to $100,000.
Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, and Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said in a news release Thursday that they “have reached a tentative agreement with Molpus … that will provide for public access to Molpus land for the duration of 2012 and continuing through the close of the 2013 legislative session.”
Molpus became owners of 286,000 acres of Minnesota forest in July when it purchased the land from Forest Capital Partners, which more than a decade ago had acquired the land holdings of Boise Cascade Co. Molpus is operated as a land investment company to return profits to investors from timber sales and other revenue off the land.