Big Sand Lake Association

committed to the preservation of Big Sand Lake


Big Sand Lake  •  Current News & Events

02/16/2015 - DNR Update on Development of Public Landing

On behalf of the Big Sand Lake Association, Candy Malm, BSLA President, recently contacted Tony Walzer, Acquisition and Development Specialist, DNR Division of Parks and Trails, for an update on the status for development of the public landing. In Mr. Walzer’s response he stated that, "The project has been put on our development project priority list for future development. The next step is to submit a requisition for services for building disposal.  Once this is done, the federal aid review can be conducted to obtain the necessary cultural and environmental clearances, …" In addition Mr. Walzer noted that, " Due to recent expenditures to acquire multiple parcels to consolidate a larger site for a future water access facility elsewhere in Becker County, the Bemidji Area Parks and Trails office does not anticipate any further water access development after this summer/fall until 2017."  Click here for a complete copy of Mr. Walzer's response.


02/06/2015 - DNR Takes Action on Deforestation for Agriculture

The DNR has taken action on the issue of converting forest land into agricultural. An article in today’s (Feb. 6) Star Tribune reports that “state regulators have ordered a broad environmental review that will temporarily halt conversion of the region’s jackpine stands to potato fields”. Click here for the article. We don’t know if the DNR is reacting because of the article in the Star Tribune on Sunday, Feb.2 Star Tribune (See item below: Looming New Threat . . “ for a copy) or were on top of the issue already. The BSLA Board will continue to monitor the issue as it affects the Big Sand watershed and surrounding areas.


02/04/2015 - Looming New Threat - Deforestation for Agriculture

A front page article in the Star Tribune on Sunday, February 1, highlighting the Park Rapids area, states that “forests of central Minnesota — a region that has the state’s highest deer densities and that protects a largely pristine but vulnerable aquifer — are being cleared at an accelerating pace, and regulators are scrambling to find a way to protect them. It’s part of a bigger, mostly invisible transformation … Since 2006, some 275 square miles of natural land in the Upper Mississippi watershed has been converted to row-crop agriculture, according to a new University of Minnesota analysis — much of it sandy soils and forests where no one ever expected to see farming”. Click here for complete article.


02/04/2015 - DNR Delays Training Requirement

On January 28th, the DNR announced they were postponing the launch of the AIS training program and trailer decal program. Currently the Legislature is discussing changes or repeal of the statue passed in 2012 that would require all trailers transporting water craft and equipment to have a decal which could be obtained only after completion of a short training. The statue is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2015. (See our 1/24/15 article in ‘Lake News Archives’ in the left-hand column)


The DNR “supports the education that would be provided under this law, but recognizes there are some concerns with the way the law is currently written." Because the training and decal are not required until July 1, the DNR says that there will be time to see what action the Legislature implements and for people to take the training course and receive decals. Updates on the requirement will be posted on


02/04/2015 - Contact Legislators with Your Opinion on the AIS Training

Legislators do value the opinion of constituents when deciding how to vote on particular issues. In our January 24th posting, we note  a request to voice opinions about not repealing this law (see article in “Lake News Archives”). A quick, easy, on-line training to satisfy the requirement for obtaining the required trailer decal discussed in the above article has been developed and is ready to go. There is even a temporary version for a mobile device to be available at public landings for those who were not aware of the requirement. (see ‘Lake News Archives’ in left-hand column). 


We encourage you to contact your legislator concerning the required AIS training. To find your legislators go to and enter either your home or lake (or both) address. If possible please also contact:

Senator John Marty (651) 296-5645, chair of the Senate committee currently considering the repeal in the Senate (bill S.F. 0085)

Representative Tom Hackbarth (651) 296-2439 or, chair of the House committee currently considering the repeal in the House (bill H.F. 50)


12/05/2014 - Big Sand Social Activities and Events

Even though the snow may be flying and temperatures have dropped BSLA friends and neighbors are still active. Events and get-togethers are being planned — possibilities include pizza nights, cross-country skiing, Super Bowl viewing, ice fishing tournament?? If you would like to receive email notification of these events, please send a current address to Linda VanBruggen,


12/05/2014 - Cabins at Pine Cone Lodge Available Year Round

Enjoy Big Sand throughout the whole year.  Stay at Pine Cone when your cabin is closed up for the winter.  Pine Cone will pay $40 for a 2015 lake association membership for any Big Sand resident reserving a cabin during the off season. Two night minimum.


Become a Friend of Big Sand

Whether you are a frequent “in-person” visitor to Big Sand or one who only enjoys visiting Big Sand via the webcam, we encourage you to become a “Friend of Big Sand”. This membership category is available to non-residents of Big Sand. The annual dues of $20 will support the activities of the Big Sand Lake Association to preserve, protect and enhance the lake we all love. Click on the "Membership" tab in the left hand column for a convenient on-line, credit card payment process. The option to download and mail in payment is also available.


Charitable Lake Fund

Learn More About the Big Sand Charitable Lake Fund

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This is a copy of “Public Notice Big Sand Lake Public Water Access Site”
as printed in the Park Rapids Enterprise
on  Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Parks & Trails Division of the Department of Natural Resources has obtained an option to purchase a 0.56 acre percel of land located in Section 35, Township 141 North, Range 34 West, Lake Emma Township, Hubbard County, Minnesota, owned by Polly A. Boggs, for the purpose of improving the existing public water access site in the southeast corner of Big Sand Lake. Proposed improvements would include a new and expanded bituminous parking area, a double concrete plank ramp with floating docks, stormwater retention ponds to accommodate runoff and aquatic invasive species best management practices. Provisins would be made for portable toilets. One residential structure and a detached garage are located on the site. The project would be tentatively scheduled for the 2015 construction season.

Comments will be accepted from the public concerning this proposal until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, October 31, 2013. Comments can be sent to David Schotzko, Area Supervisor, Department of Natural Resources, Parks & Trails Division, 3296 State Park Road NE, Bemidji, MN 56601 or