Lake and Land Workshop June 9, 2022

The Cook County Coalition of Lake Associations (CCCoLA) is hosting a “Lake and Land” workshop open to the public at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais on the morning of June 9 from 9-11 am. The event is free to attend and registration is not required.

According to Biz Clark, former Chair of the CCCoLA, “The point of the workshop is to examine the changes occurring in Cook County and the roles played by county and state government, tourism, realtors, and independent organizations such as CCCoLA as they affect the exceptional place that is Cook County.”

The first hour of the program consists of presentations by the sheriff’s office, the Soil and Water District, the County Land Services office, Minnesota DNR, and the tourism promotion agency Visit Cook County. The second hour is devoted to questions and statements from members of the audience.

CCCoLA considers itself, according to its website, to be an “action-oriented independent organization made up of Cook County lake and road associations.” The group brings these associations together to focus on issues of common interest with the goal of developing an informed community of property owners for the preservation and protection of county waterways and lakes.

According to Clark, in the last year, the group began discussions about the problems with inappropriate surface water behavior, much increased traffic on wilderness access trails, litter at lake access points, noise pollution, and a rapid increase in so-called short-term vacation rentals.

The main question that Clark says will be addressed in this meeting is: What controls can be used, in the face of increasing tourism and development to support the goal of maintaining the things that make Cook County special while ensuring that the tourism economy is sustainable?

Acknowledging that the question will not be definitively answered in a two-hour workshop, Clark says, “We are hoping to better understand how we might examine change that is inevitable and upon us, and how we can do a better job of planning for it.”