Cass County Board: Timber sales on the rise in Cass County

Aspen continues to make up the majority of wood sold in the county.

Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Brainerd Dispatch

BACKUS — Falling timber prices led to an increase in the amount of timber sold last year in Cass County.

Land Commissioner Mark Gossman presented the timber sale information during his annual report Tuesday, April 18, to the Cass County Board of Commissioners.

Gossman noted aspen continued to be the majority of wood sold in the county. In 2022, 36,380 cords of aspen were sold at an average of $33.56 per cord, for a total of $1,220,874. The price per cord was down approximately 69 cents from 2021. The second highest timber sold was 14,065 cords of red oak for a total price of $499,817, an average of $35.54 per cord, down about $8 per cord. Basswood was the third highest timber sold, with 4,694 cords being sold for a total of $91,476 at an average price of $19.49 per cord, up approximately $1 per cord. The total of all timber and pulp sales in 2022 was $2,170,399.

Gossman also highlighted a few expenses that saw significant changes in 2022. The first expense was permanent salaries, which had an increase of $74,971 due to the lack of a position during 2021, which was filled in 2022. Secondly, trail maintenance had a decrease of $252,558 due to timing of projects beginning and ending. The final expense highlighted with explanation was forest management, which increased $34,269 due to the department performing more bud capping during the fall. Gossman informed the board expenses overall saw a decrease of about 8%.

The land department's revenue also decreased by about 6% during 2022 due to land sale inventory being lower than in previous years, Gossman said.


For the complete Land Department Annual Report, go to .

In other business, the commissioners:

Appointed Commissioners Neal Gaalswyk and Bob Kangas to a Committee of the Board to bring a recommendation to the full board on the appointment of the Health, Human and Veterans Services director due to the retirement of Michele Piprude.

Approved expanding the scope of the solid waste management plan to include a business plan with future disposal options and bringing a request for proposal back to the solid waste committee for comments. They also approved a 32 month renewal contract with Waste Management and an agreement with Albany Recycling to use their trailer to haul electronics for $575 per load. An amendment to the hauling of municipal solid waste and recyclables contract with Evan McAllister was approved for an additional $2.25 per mile, which changes by 1% for every 12 cents in fuel costs.

Declared a state of emergency due to spring flooding and wind and snowstorms during the week of April 10, with significant damage being seen on public property.

Appointed Kangas as a representative to the Crow Wing River One Watershed One Plan Policy Committee, with Gaalswyk as an alternate.

The next meetings are as follows: commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. May 2 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker; and commissioner’s board meeting 6 p.m. May 16 at Ottertail Peninsula Township Town Hall, 122325 West Shores Road NW, Cass Lake.

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