Some lakes are notorious for AIS traveling from them to other lakes on boats. These include, I believe, Mille Lacs, Minnetonka and Prior Lake. On all such lakes, implement a boat inspection and decontamination plan that requires inspection and decontamination upon removal of a boat from the water. This should be coupled with a major, Governor-led effort to educate the public and encourage the behavioral changes that ...more »
Northern Minnesota's precious lake country is at risk. As you know, in June of 2015, Canadian Pipeline giant, Enbridge gained approval of a Certificate of Need (CON) from our PUC for an oil pipeline (the Sandpiper - carrying fracked oil from the Bakken) through the Mississippi Headwaters and lake country. Since then, they have applied for another permit to relocate their Line 3 (that transports tar sand oil from Alberta) ...more »
Air traffic projections are being addressed nationally, but is subterranean traffic planned for the Metro Area's expected 3.5-million people here in the next generation? Below-ground plans for sewer and water, in the traditional view, probably don't have anything new in store. "Payday's Friday, and poop runs downhill" is the old plumber's joke. But considering the age of our current mill town expansion quilt-work, we ...more »
The idea is very simple and I touched on it before. The State must make a true and orchestrated effort to bring environmental data of the past to the 21st century. This would be like Wikipedia but with controls.
MN finishes 8 million hogs a year. Using perennial crops for just 10% of their finishing rations (for example: intermediate wheat grass) would put 330,000 acres of new, profitable perennial crops on the land.
We can't say who'll win the presidential election this fall, but at least one candidate has expressed a willingness to address the issues surrounding water quality and quantities, head-on. You can believe who you want. Promises in an election year come more easily said, than done. But given the chance that the Mississippi River basin is needed to fend off the effects of a La Nina drought, or of those certain to come, ...more »
Research in the cornbelt has shown that nitrogen and phosphorus losses to waters from agriculture can be drastically reduced by re-engineering large-scale configuration of watersheds. This approach requires no change in the amount of agriculture done in a watershed and little change in practice but can yield great water quality benefits. Let's use approaches like that to fix water quality without harming agriculture.
Short of a Depression-Era diversion project, there's just no stopping the power of the Mississippi, down South. But up on the farm, it's different. Pesticide and herbicide reformations are the hardest science to crack, and most expensive too, and perhaps hardest to treat medically. Identifying and targeting natural flood plain zones, and constructing restrictions and drainage diversions that will forever prevent field ...more »
Trees are important. They are beautiful. They provide oxygen, shade and homes for wildlife. They sequester carbon, purify our air, create a sense of community, make us safer and increase the value of our properties. They are also an integral part of our communities' green infrastructure and a large percentage of them are about to be killed by an invasive pest, the emerald ash borer. An 18" diameter tree will intercept ...more »
Towns have been swallowed-up by mudslides from excess rainfall above them, in the western US. It's likely, that with condition sensors and our mid-western agricultural drain tile use, these dangerous conditions could have been prevented. If not, at least an evacuation warning signal could have been sent before the hills went unstable. Is this something for one governor to suggest to another? Municipalities up in the hills, ...more »
Benefits of Twin City bioenergy production from wastewater-to-energy solutions aren't restricted to autos. The power grid uses more fuel than transportation, by a wide margin. Economy and quality-minded folks can't ignore that max-CO2-producing coal-fired electrical power plants rely on scrubbers to remove what particulate matter they can; they store that, but accidents have happened. Natural gas is far cleaner, though ...more »
One-size-sits-all regulations (like the buffer requirements) are not the way to improve water quality. All conservation BMPs have pro's and con's and if we really want improved water quality we need local flexibility to do what is right rather than being forced from the top down into a practice that may not be best for the individual land owner.