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County GIS director recognized

Beltrami County GIS Director Jane Mueller has been selected to receive the 2013 Polaris Leadership Award.

County Administrator Kay Mack noted Mueller’s expertise in aerial photography during Tuesday’s Beltrami County Board of Commissioners meeting. Mueller has been working with maps in GIS for almost 20 years.

“I was not expecting this,” Mueller said. “I don’t seek out this type of recognition.”

Mueller said she would not have been recognized by her geospatial peers were it not for her support staff. Mueller will receive her formal award in Rochester on Oct. 10.

Commissioner Joe Vene said Mueller’s capabilities are exceeded by her modesty.

“I’d say figuratively and literally, you’ve put us on the map,” said Commissioner Jack Frost.

Commissioner Jim Lucachick drew a direct correlation between Mueller’s award and a trespass on logging lands.

“I find it ironic that we just gave Jane Mueller an award for GIS/LIS,” Lucachick said. “They can shoot from a satellite 160 miles above the earth and they can locate something the size of a pack of cigarettes, but we still have problems to this degree defining a boundary between private property and our property. I find that highly questionable.”

During the Sept. 17 board meeting, Lucachick motioned to have a third party investigate a trespass that included approximately one-quarter of an acre of timber harvested from private property adjacent to Three Island Park. The original investigation indicated the forester had incorrectly marked an area of the cut. Lucachick’s motion was defeated on a 3-2 vote.

Lucachick said the last time he spoke with the landowner, he was told the man was “done” with the issue.

Vene said it was a regrettable instance and hopes there are procedures in place that will minimize it from occurring in the future.

 “I believe that chapter is closed. It’s a done deal,” Lucachick said.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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