Florence may buy Aurora forestland


Staff Writer

FLORENCE, Wis. – Florence County is moving forward with plans to acquire 80 acres of land in Aurora, Wis. for the county forest system.

During their Tuesday meeting, members of the Florence County Board of Supervisors authorized Pat Smith, the forestry and parks administrator, to submit an application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for grant funding to purchase the land.

Smith said that the grant could cover up to half of the purchase price. No price for the parcels has been set yet, but Smith explained that he can use an appraisal price to fill out the grant application.

Applications are not due until May.

Supervisor Ed Kelley emphasized that the county will only go through with the purchase if the price is right.

If the deal is approved, the land will become the first county forest land in Aurora, Kelley added.

There are currently more than 36,000 acres of land in Florence County’s forest system.

In other business, the board:

– Approved two resolutions recommended by the Florence County Land Conservation Committee.

The first resolution asks the state to restore funding to local conservation committees. According to the resolution, funding will drop from an average of $9.3 million over the past 12 years to $7.8 million in 2014.

The second resolution asks the state to be more equal in issuing conservation funding to each of the counties.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.