Wagon Wheel Ridge (WWR) and its owner, Mr. Glen Brazier, are currently involved in disputes with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR), the Kittson Soil and Water Conservation District (Kittson SWCD) and the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources. The disputes are primarily over a ditch and culvert that was dredged on WWR property for the purpose of relieving the nearby community of Karlstad, MN, of excess water that historically backed up into the city and surrounding area. They also served as a fire break to protect the community against potential wildfires. Karlstad was impacted by a devastating wildfire in 2012 in which Mr. Brazier lost several structures himself.
The state is now ordering Mr. Brazier to dam the culvert and fill in the ditch. This is all in reference to their claim that the ditch is in violation of wetlands regulations. Wagon Wheel Ridge is currently in the administrative appeal process with the Kittson SWCD. In addition, WWR also filed a Minnesota district court case alleging an unlawful search of Mr. Brazier’s property. Specifically, WWR alleges that the MN DNR and the Kittson SWCD conducted an unlawful search using intrusive drilling operations at WWR, despite Mr. Brazier’s specific instructions that no drilling take place on his private land.
If forced to dam up the ditch at this point, the current floodwater surrounding the community of Karlstad, MN, (as displayed in the photographs provided) would prove itself to be continuously present. In the event that flooding conditions take place, this water would increase in scale beyond that of its current state, putting Karlstad and the surrounding area at significant risk. It would also put the community at extreme risk of potential wildfires once again.
This unfortunate situation is no longer feasible due to the negative impact it will have on the community of Karlstad. In addition to the impact on Karlstad, Mr. Brazier maintains that his rights have been violated as a private landowner.