"Keep Out" signs have been put on access roads across much of the land it owns in northern St. Louis County.
This comes after the state legislature cut a tax break the timber company received for conducting sustainable forestry and allowing public access. This tax cut is reportedly between $100,000 to $2 million.
“This is a direct result of the loss of tax incentives. It’s very difficult to manage this land based just on the timber sale revenues now with (timber) prices so low and still paying taxes. If we want to keep the land in production and open to public access, there has to be another source of revenue. Or we are going to need to look at some other options," said Craig Halla, Minn. property manager for Molpus to the Duluth News Tribune.
The company has refused to renew the easements used by the Arrowhead and Vogeaur trails.
“We have hundreds of crossings on their land. This is going to shut down snowmobiling in that area if we don’t get this changed... If those snowmobile trails don’t open, they (snowmobilers) will just go somewhere else. It’s a big hit to the economy," said Rep. Dave Dill, DFL-Crane Lake to the Duluth News Tribune.
Dill, other northern lawmakers and Department of Natural Resources officials are trying to form a plan to convince Molpus to change its mind and reopen the land.
“We’re looking at trying to find some money in the short term. But, really, there isn’t much we can do until” the 2013 legislative session, Dill said to the newspaper. “Maybe we can convince them in good faith that we will work to restore the tax incentive; maybe they will rethink these closures for this year.”
first of the timber companies need to make money on their land by offering access to it for snowmobilers ,which in turn brings Commerce 2 area businesses .local businesses are then enriched with cash from snowmobilers ,and then businesses have to pay tax on the money they earn from the snowmobilers . and then legislators cut the tax breaks to the timber companies .....I think the legislators are the ones that are getting greedy ,they expect the lumber companies to allow access to their land so others may profit at their expense .looks like another case of double dipping .the lumber companies are in their right to do this ,wouldn't you ?