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Deal close on dispute over state land in BWCA

DULUTH -- State and federal officials are getting close to a deal that could end a decades-long dispute over state land locked within the federal Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

The Duluth News Tribune reports an advisory committee of state, federal and local officials, and interest groups, has met quietly several times in the past year to forge a compromise on a combination land trade and purchase.

They'll meet again in Sandstone Wednesday as they near agreement on how to handle nearly 87,000 acres of state land inside the 1.1 million-acre BWCA. The newspaper says the state would trade part of that land for federal land outside the wilderness, and the feds would buy part of the land from the state.

The deal would generate money for a state school trust fund.