Loon Commons Blog

News Watch: Oct. 30

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Energy; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Outdoor Recreation; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Water; Wildlife;   Agriculture & Food Associated Press: New bug species raising stink in Minnesota (In MPR)  MinnPost: As U.S. struggles with poulty-borne disease, other countries offer lessons  MinnPost: Poor irrigation has poisoned much of world’s farmland… Read more »

Continuous Learning About Continuous Living Cover

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog, Water.

When it comes to introducing and supporting innovative sustainable farming practices, nothing beats a field day. Such events provide an opportunity for farmers to see firsthand how profitable, environmentally sound production practices are performing on their neighbor’s land under climatic, agronomic and economic conditions they can relate to. Studies have shown that while sustainable farming… Read more »

In Historical Move, MPCA Orders EIS on Proposed Factory Farm

Posted by & filed under agriculture, EQB and Environmental Review, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

By Paul Sobocinski, Land Stewardship Project The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizens’ Board ruled this week that Riverview LLP’s proposed 8,850-cow dairy operation in Stevens County must undergo an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). To my knowledge, this is the first time that the MPCA has ordered an EIS of a factory farm. This is… Read more »

Taking steps to curb climate change would have a big impact on public health

Posted by & filed under air pollution, carbon emissions, carbon pollution, carbon pollution standard, carbon reduction, clean air, climate change, EPA, Loon Commons blog.

Too often, health impacts are left out of the conversation on climate change. That is unfortunate, because climate change threatens our ability to protect Minnesotans against the dangers of air pollution and increased allergens and asthma triggers linked to warmer summers, extreme weather and smoke from wildfires. This is especially true of the most vulnerable… Read more »

The Environmental Benefits of Cycling for Minnesota

Posted by & filed under biking, clean air, Loon Commons blog, transit, transportation, transportation choices, transportation options.

Bicycling more and driving less offers numerous advantages, both for the individual as well as the community. As a transportation alternative, bicycling benefits public health and safety, reduces transportation costs and fuel consumption, decreases traffic congestion, boosts the local consumer economy, and reduces environmental impacts, among other things. While we certainly believe the economic, individual… Read more »

Saving Minnesota’s Grasslands: Conservation, Cattle & Community

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

It’s that age-old struggle: accepting a little short-term disturbance in the name of long-term stability. Dave Trauba regularly faces the challenge of explaining that tradeoff to hunters who visit the Lac Qui Parle Wildlife Refuge in western Minnesota only to find their favorite spot for shooting pheasants has recently been grazed by cattle from a… Read more »

First Test of 2013 MN Frac Sand Law is Successful

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Energy, EQB and Environmental Review, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Global Warming, Health, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog, oil, rural, Water.

By Johanna Rupprecht, Land Stewardship Project The owner of a controversial Houston County silica sand mine was notified Monday by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that he must stop mining and apply for a DNR Silica Sand Mining Trout Stream Setback Permit. The Erickson silica sand mine in Houston County’s Yucatan Township is… Read more »

Grazing as a Public Good in Western Minnesota

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

As a Nature Conservancy scientist based in a Midwestern state, Steve Chaplin thinks a lot about the impact agriculture has on ecological treasures such as native tallgrass prairie. “Other than plowing, grazing has probably been responsible for the degradation of more prairie than any other source,” says Chaplin, who is in the Conservancy’s Minnesota field… Read more »

Soil Health: Numbers vs. Knowing

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog, Water.

Sometimes it takes a bit of an evangelist to remind us that praying at the altar of facts and figures can blind one to how they all connect in the bigger picture. In the case of production systems that build soil health, that preacher is Ray Archuleta. “The soil is naked, hungry, thirsty and running… Read more »