Greetings and hope you had a safe and happy Halloween. I mentioned in an email a couple of weeks ago that the DNR was selling off parcels of state land this week; let's circle back to that now that the auction in Wadena has taken place.
The DNR on Wednesday sold three of the six landlocked parcels it had listed for sale. I am told that all three purchases were made by people who already own adjacent land. Congratulations to the successful bidders and I hope they got deals that work for them.
It remains highly disappointing that more acres were not sold.The DNR said it would sell land in Wadena County to offset purchases of other acres in the county the agency completed in 2015. I did another check on the numbers after this week’s auction. While the DNR originally bought 2,006 acres, the agency has now returned a grand total of 320 acres in Wadena County to the tax rolls.
In other words, the DNR’s promise to sell off Wadena County parcels remains almost 85 percent unfulfilled.
This is a disservice to taxpayers and, by listing for sale properties that have no legal access, the DNR’s dedication to honoring their commitment appears suspect.
It’s great that a few neighbors were able to buy some adjacent parcels this week, but the DNR has a long, long way to go in squaring things up with Wadena County taxpayers. The agency must do a better job of working with county officials to identify parcels that would be viable on the market and then actually follow through by selling them.