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September 28, 2015 Sunset on Lake Washburn, Outing, MN - photo by Dan Laakso

Crow Wing County releases 2016 Aquatic Invasive Species Plan

The Crow Wing County Land Services Department is requesting public comment on the proposed 2016 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Plan. The 2016 AIS plan can be viewed on the County website at by typing “AIS” in the search box. Written comments on the plan will be accepted until Monday, November 30, 2015, and may be submitted to the Environmental Services Office at or mailed to 322 Laurel Street, Suite 14 Brainerd, MN 56401.

Crow Wing County has been allocated $450,000 by the State legislature to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species within County lakes and rivers in 2016. The AIS plan proposes to accomplish this through several approaches, including:

Boat landing inspections
Crow Wing County has assigned a risk classification to each of the nearly 200 public and private boat ramps. The classification is based on the use, location, and infested status of each landing and ranges from low to very high risk. Over 15,000 hours of inspection will be conducted at high and very high risk landings.

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Crosslake School Pumpkins

Earlier this week, the students of Crosslake Community School took a trip to Steve and Deb Dahlke’s farm in Fifty Lakes to harvest the pumpkins, squash, and corn for their yearly fundraiser. We all worked hard to harvest the pumpkins and hunt for the ones that were hidden.

The older middle schoolers were the first to go to the pumpkin patch and brought back the larger and heavier vegetables. The largest and heaviest pumpkin took multiple 8th grade boys to lift into the bus. This year’s harvest produced many large and unique pumpkins.

I interviewed some 5th grade students about their experiences at the farm. “I really enjoyed the hayride and being able to see the whole farm. It was really nice of the Dahlkes to give us a ride,” said Beau Engstrom, a 5th grade student at the school.

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Temporary off-highway vehicle trail closures begin in November

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restrict recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in some areas during the upcoming firearms deer hunting season.

Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and registered off-road vehicles such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used for deer hunting by a licensed hunter. The restrictions, which apply to state forest trails and access routes but not to state forest roads, aim to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and minimize conflicts between deer hunters and riders who may inadvertently disturb them. Licensed deer hunters may still use these routes for their hunting activities:

• Before legal shooting time.
•  From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• After legal shooting hours.

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Lot line disputed in case against the City of Crosslake

After more than a year of land vacation requests, deliberations between the city of Crosslake and property owners Sandra and Gerald Bilski have now become a lawsuit filed by the Bilskis against the city. At question is an area of land adjacent to the Bilskis’ property, an undeveloped lake access known on city plats as “Birch Beach.”

The city council has discussed at many meetings that it has found part of the Bilski’s property, located on Manhattan Point Blvd., to encroach on the adjacent lake access. The city also says that two of the Bilski’s garages encroach on the public right of way of Manhattan Point Blvd.

The issue with the Bilskis is one of many in the city where the city believes private property is encroaching on public property. Public documents on the lawsuit filed with the county show that the Bilskis claim that Birch Beach is 50 feet wide, and that the city has previously acknowledged and admitted that the access is 50 feet wide.

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