Does a tax-forfeited parcel need DNR review?

Important note about this page

The purpose of this page is to provide a quick guide to the issues reviewed by the DNR. However, this is a complex area of law, and the statutes should be reviewed for a complete understanding of authority as to the DNR's review of proposed sales of tax-forfeited lands managed by the counties. This information does not cover all issues related to sale of DNR-administered tax-forfeited lands held free from the trust in favor of the taxing districts or consolidated conservation lands.


  • Parcels that do not have any characteristics listed below do not require DNR review.
  • The DNR receives a high volume of parcels for review. Many of the parcels submitted for review do not have any characteristics listed below. For example, many of the parcels submitted are platted subdivision lots that do not have any of the below characteristics. The DNR asks counties to submit only parcels that require review in order to expedite DNR’s review process.


  • Parcels requiring DNR review are summarized below. View as a PDF  »

Standing Timber

Timber means trees that will produce forest products of value, including, but not limited to, logs, bolts, pulpwood, posts, poles, cordwood, lumber and decorative material.

Commissioner must approve appraised value of timber and sale of land. [Minn. Stat., sec. 282.01, subd. 3 ]


Parcel bordering on or adjacent to meandered lakes and other public waters and watercourses.

Commissioner must approve sale of parcel with waterfront of 150 feet or less. Parcel with waterfront of more than 150 feet is withdrawn from sale; however, a county is permitted to sell such property upon written authorization from the commissioner of natural resources. [Minn. Stat., sec. 282.018, subd. 1 ]

State Park

Parcel within boundary of state park.

Withdrawn from sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 85.012, subd. 1 ]

Nonforested Marginal Land and Wetland

Lands and wetlands identified by the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) or federal agencies, often using Army Corps of Engineers manual.

Withdrawn from sale unless notice of existence of nonforested marginal land or wetland is provided to prospective purchasers and deed contains restrictive covenant that precludes enrollment in state conservation program (unless platted subdivision or conveyance is to correct errors in legal descriptions). [Minn. Stat., secs. 103F.535]  and 282.018, subd. 2 ]

Memorial Forest

Tax-forfeited land designated by county board resolution as most suitable for forest purposes and managed on forestry principles.

Withdrawn from sale, unless county board finds it more suitable for other purposes and withdraws lands from memorial forest and commissioner approves sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 459.06, subd. 3 ]

Mineral Lease or Mining Unit

Lands or stockpiled materials subject to state mineral lease designated in mining unit status by the commissioner for offering for mineral leasing purposes.

Withheld from sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 282.01, subd. 8 ]


Lands chiefly valuable for commercial quantities of peat.

Withdrawn from sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 92.461 , and Opinion of Attorney General, Feb. 9, 1968]

Land Classified as Conservation

County board has classified tax forfeited land as conservation instead of non-conservation.

Withdrawn from sale, except commissioner may approve sale of conservation lands designated by county board as primarily suitable for a specific conservation purpose or for auxiliary forest purposes. [Minn. Stat., sec. 282.011, subd. 1 ]

Red Lake Game Preserve and Other Consolidated Conservation Areas

Tax forfeited lands located within Red Lake Game Preserve area and other consolidated conservation areas that forfeited on or after May 3, 1984.

Subject to above requirements

Trust Fund Lands and Other DNR Administered-Lands

Lands that were erroneously taxed and erroneously forfeited or correctly taxed (e.g., certificate of sale issued) but erroneously forfeited (e.g., land sold but purchaser still paying for land and patent not issued).

Commissioner objects to forfeiture of land and objects to sale of land by counties. [Minn. Stat., sec. 92.214 ]

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