LAND & PROPERTYTax Forfeit-Fee LandsAccess   


The St. Louis County Land & Minerals Department has the authority to grant access over and across tax forfeit managed lands.

The process is initiated by filling out the Application For Access Across Tax Forfeited Lands and returning it to the Land & Minerals Department Area Office nearest you.
Filing an application does not guarantee that the encumbrance will be granted.  All requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to the requirements set forth by the Land & Minerals Department, all applicable county ordinances; state and federal statutes, laws, rules, and guidelines shall be followed.

Land & Minerals Department staff will guide you to the correct office to satisfy these requirements.

The St. Louis County Land and Minerals Department requires an application for all proposed new trails or proposed re-routed trails that would be located on county tax forfeited lands. Re-routes initiated by the Land and Minerals Department for forest management purposes do not need to complete this application.

The information you provide in this application will be used in the Department's decision on whether or not authorization for using county tax forfeited lands will be granted. It will also help the Land and Minerals Department better manage tax forfeited lands for multiple uses. If you have any questions, please call the Forest Recreation Specialist at (218) 726-2659.

Application for a New or Re-routed Trail Located on St. Louis County Tax Forfeit Land.


There are three ways the St. Louis County Land & Minerals Department provides access across tax forfeited lands.

  • Authorization
  • Lease
  • Easement

The first method is the Authorization which allows access for short term needs.  The Authorization is generally handled in one visit to the Area Office.

The second method is a lease to provide access which is temporary and renewable.

The third method is an easement used for utilities, public roadways by road authorities, as well as access to private lands.
The easement is permanent and requires approval by the St. Louis County Board and recording of documents in the Office of the County Recorder/Registrar of Titles. 
There is a $1000 deposit required with the application which will be applied to the appraisal, administrative and land use fees.

After the Land & Minerals Department receives the application along with the $1000 deposit (if a request for an easement), you will be contacted to set an appointment to make a field examination.  During this field examination the Land & Minerals Department staff will work with you and discuss options that may enhance, improve, or alter the request.  This will include the selection of a route that is best for the long term management of the tax forfeited lands or possibly even denial of the request.  For authorizations and leases the Land & Minerals Department staff will locate the encumbrance during this site visit using a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to the standards set forth.  The applicant shall have the responsibility for this location for easements.  After the field inspection you will be notified in writing of the final decision.  If the decision is an approval, the applicant may then proceed with the use or construction.

By granting an encumbrance, the Land & Minerals Department may also set roadway design and/or construction criteria it deems necessary to protect the resources.  Field inspections by Land & Minerals Department staff may occur during the process to ensure that the encumbrance is established in accordance with Land & Minerals Department requirements.
Once all data has been submitted, the Land & Minerals Department will prepare a recordable document that satisfies the requirements of the St Louis County Recorder/Registrar of Titles.
Please read the "Instructions for Applying for Access Across Tax Forfeited Lands" for detailed information on what is required with the application.

For more information or assistance in filling out the application form contact the Land & Minerals Department at:

Phone: 218-726-2606

St. Louis County Land & Minerals Department
Government Services Center
320 W 2nd Street  Suite 302
Duluth, MN 55802