Land Commissioner Nate Eide presented a report on the state of land and timber resources in Lake County for 2022. The goal of the Land Commission is to protect, develop and manage Lake County’s land and timber resources to best meet the needs of county residents.
The day to day work of the Land Commission includes managing timber sales, repairing roads and trails that have been damaged by floods, maintaining moose habitat by planting the kinds of foliage that moose like to eat, removing dead trees and planting new ones and dealing with invasive insects like bugworm and spongy moths, which can easily decimate forested areas if not kept in check. Eide pointed out that timber sales in Lake County are not as profitable as those of some of our neighboring counties due to the difference in climate and soil conditions.
The Split Rock Trail is open and getting used and the Land Commission will be working to get the trail connected to Beaver Bay. Moving forward, Eide and his staff will be working to update a forestry plan that relies on tree sales over land sales and the Rock Splitter Mountain Bike Race is scheduled for the 22nd – 23rd of July.
Two residents who live in Unorganized Territory #2 appeared before the Board to express their concern over short term vacation rental properties. There are apparently inadequate ordinances regarding density of STVRs along the lakefront and the petitioners asked that the Board consider requiring a quarter of a mile distance between vacation rentals and residential properties. Additionally, concerns were raised about special events requests at STVRs. Such requests can result in noisy gatherings and nuisance behavior that can disrupt the lives of permanent residents. The trend nationally is that municipalities are banning special events permits for STVRs in the interest of protecting the sanity of permanent residents who live near them. The Board is considering STVR density and agreed to continue discussing the issue.
The next Board of Commissioners action meeting is scheduled for May 23rd at 2:00.