Pine County Land Department

Bear_Pics_002The Pine County Land Department is responsible for the management of the approximately 40,000 acres of tax forfeited lands in Pine County. Tax forfeited lands are lands held in trust by the State of Minnesota; they are not directly owned by the County but are classified, managed, and controlled locally by the County Land Department. 

Land Department management of tax forfeit lands includes:

  • Sustainable forestry practices
  • Timber production and sales
  • Recreational use (hunting, camping, fishing, snowmobiling and ATV trails), and
  • Land classification, sales & exchanges 

Sustainable forest management activities follow the principles set by the Voluntary Site Level Forest Management Guidelines, a document resulting from the 1994 Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Minnesota Forest Management. These guidelines were developed by a cross section of forest users and recommend practices to protect water quality and enhance forest diversity.

The timber industry is vital to the northern Minnesota economy.  Pine County employs two County Foresters to manage much of the 40,000 acres of public forfeit land, appraise timber, and conduct annual timber sales.  Timber sales revenues benefit the County, local Townships, and School Districts directly.  Public land timber sales also greatly assist the timber markets in providing a consistent opportunity to harvest local timber at market prices.  Please visit the Timber Auction and Forestry Industry pages for more information.

All Tax Forfeited lands are public land and open to public for hunting, fishing and camping. There are no designated campgrounds on County land. Publicly managed tax forfeit land is your public land to use and enjoy.  Please use and enjoy the land responsibly.

Certain parcels of Tax Forfeited lands are landlocked by surrounding private ownership. Trespass laws require permission from adjoining owners to cross their land.  Please respect all adjoining property boundaries and ask for permission.

The Land Department is the local governmental sponsor for the administration of many Grant-In-Aid trails funded through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR).  We routinely work with local snowmobile and ATV clubs to provide trail riding opportunities and encourage you to view the Trails page for more information.  The Sandstone MN DNR office can also be contacted for maps and information.

Tax forfeit land is classified as Conservation or Non-conservation pursuant to MN State Statute.  The Land Department utilizes the land classification process as an integral part in determining the future use, management or sale of public lands.  Please visit the Tax Forfeit Land Classifications page for more information.

On a limited basis, the Land Department conducts land exchanges with interested parties to consolidate County/Private ownership.  Exchanges must be for equally valued land that is desireable and will fit within the management plans of the County.

The Land Department also conducts land sales to sell those parcels the County feels are best held in private ownership. All land sales are held at public auction and parcels are advertised in the local papers and on this web site.  Sales are generally held annually in August/September.  To be placed on a land sale notification list please contact the County Forester and please visit the Tax Forfeit Land Sale page for more information.

Contact Us
Pine County Land Department
1610 State Hwy 23 N
Sandstone, MN 55072

Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Phone: (320) 216-4225 or 1-800-450-7463 ext. 4225

1610 bldg sign 


Land Department

Greg Beck, Land Commissioner/County Forester 
(Tax forfeit land, land sales, timber harvest and forestry inquires)

Joe Kelash, Land Management Technician
(Tax forfeit land management and sales, forest management, and forest inventory)

Land Department
1610 State Hwy 23 N

Sandstone, MN 55072