Pawlenty sees narrowing window for new park

Map of Lake Vermilion
This map shows the outline of the proposed Lake Vermilion state park, in black. The existing Soudan Mine State Park is outlined in green.
Map courtesy of the Minnesota DNR

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says talks are at impasse between the state and U.S. Steel Corp. over land for Minnesota's newest park.

It's been two years since Pawlenty conjured images of prime fishing and camping in a proposed state park around Lake Vermilion in northeastern Minnesota. The Legislature set aside money for the land to keep the pristine parcel from being subdivided for lakefront homes.

On his radio show Friday, Pawlenty conceded hopes for the park are fading because the state and the company haven't agreed on the land purchase.

Pawlenty says he's restricted by state law limiting the amount above an appraised value that he can offer. The Republican governor wouldn't disclose how much the company is asking, but acknowledged it's "dramatically higher" than his administration is authorized to pay.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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