Tom Zeisler, resource data section supervisor in the land department, said two-thirds of that land is productive timberland, with the remainder wetlands, along with about 900 parcels in the Duluth area.
Total revenue to the county for selling timber from the forests to paper companies and loggers, and from selling land and issuing gravel leases, generates about $5 million per year, he
The GIS includes details about each tax forfeit parcel, type of forest cover or timber species, and a biophysical inventory of items such as shrubs, flora, soils, and earthworms, he
said.Also included are county zoning information and some disease outbreak data for the health department.Zeisler
said the department earns a profit of about $2 million per year, which is distributed to the county, municipalities, and school districts.The GIS allows the county to efficiently manage its sustainable, long-term interests, he
said, and the process in place soon will qualify for environmental and quality certifications.
Before GIS, mapping records were hand-drawn using pen and ink lettering on linen plats.GIS automation saves countless man-hours by providing companies that use it ready access to geographic-based information.Taxpayers and utility customers benefit from improved and more efficient customer service.
Douglas County also has a well-entrenched GIS.