Minnesota News

Large Minnesota landowner closes land over tax issue

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A large private landowner is barring hunters and snowmobilers from land in northern Minnesota after the state cut a tax break for sustainable forestry.

The Duluth News Tribune reported Thursday that Hattiesburg, Miss.-based Molpus Woodlands Group is blocking motorized access to 128,000 acres, mostly in northern St. Louis County, just as grouse and deer hunting seasons are approaching.

The closures also could affect hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails that cross the company's land.

Craig Halla, Molpus' Minnesota property manager, says the closure is a "direct result of the loss of tax incentives."

The state in 2010 capped a tax break for landowners that keep their land open to logging and public recreation at $100,000.

Before the change, Molpus had been getting a benefit of more than $2 million.

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