The Minnesota River’s contribution of sediment to the Mississippi’s Lake Pepin has increased more than 12-fold since 1830. The Minnesota flows through an area composed of particularly fine-grained soils, which throughout geological history have been prone to erosion. But it is no accident that this relatively recent 12-fold increase in sedimentation parallels the development of intensive farming in the Minnesota River basin. (more…)
Here is this week’s update by lobbyist John Tuma:
A Barrel Full of News This Week.
There was a great deal of activity on environmental issues at the Legislature this past week, so this report is a little longer than usual. We had an emotionally packed committee hearing on global warming, some committee victories on energy efficiency, some challenging fiscal targets set by the Senate leadership, and some interesting rumors floating around the dedicated funding proposal. Here’s a quick snapshot of the week’s activities.
Polinaut has hot-off-the-press spending targets proposed in the Minnesota Senate, relative to the budget forecast. At first glance, it doesn’t look good for the environment. In the arena I follow most closely (sorry transit), here’s what they are proposing: (more…)
There are two new sites that I learned about recently (via Politics in Minnesota) that the wonks among you might find interesting.
Council of Nonprofits blogs
Three staff members at the Council of Nonprofits are posting for their blog, including Marcia Avner, who is a board member of MEP. Executive Director John Pratt is another one of the authors and he recently posted on transit, naming a few of our member groups in the process.
Minnesota Policy Soup
“Search reports, studies, data and whatnot from dozens of Minnesota’s policy research organizations.” That’s how the author states it. There’s a searchable side for combing through Minnesota organizations and there’s a blog, which has categories for agriculture, energy and environment. And as long as I am pointing out member group mentioned, he names a couple in a recent water posting.
“Global warming is not coming; it is here.”
Okay, so I don’t remember my color wheel enough to know what you’d get if you mixed these two colors, but that’s not the point anyway. For reason I quite frankly do not know, old stereotypes have it that folks clad in blaze orange are not supposed to get along with people deemed green, and vice versa. While I could probably think of a few exceptions, I think the two crowds have more in common than not. Most importantly, we all want cleaner lakes and rivers, protected natural areas, and healthy ecosystems.
Here are a few recent examples from ”traditional” and “new” media sources that demonstrate how we truly are all in this together. (more…)
There is something happening every day this week at the Capitol related to the Protect Our Great Outdoors initiative. Here’s what’s currently scheduled:
A package of bills that could greatly enhance sustainable and organic agriculture in Minnesota face key tests on Tuesday in the Senate. On that day, the Senate Agriculture and Veterans Budget and Policy Division Commitee will hear all four bills, and the Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Division Committee will hear two of them. A lot of people are watching the progress of these initiatives closely: farmers, environmentalists, consumers, ag scientists, organic processors, natural foods co-ops and chefs. But another major player is also taking a keen interest in seeing this legislation pass: Chipotle Mexican Grill. In fact, an executive from Chipotle’s Minnesota headquarters will be on hand for at least one of the hearings to testify. This should be a signal to legislators that sustainable/organic agriculture has arrived as a serious economic player in this state. (more…)
This week from John Tuma: The Budget Race Is On.
From the siting of ethanol plants based on available aquifers in Southwest Minnesota to the danger of bottling the Great Lakes that grace our Northeast corner, we need statewide conversations about how we use our water – on going and in multiple arenas. We’ve been engaged the last few years now in the important work of protecting and restoring our lakes and rivers. And we still have a ways to go to create a true Clean Water Legacy. But we also need to be talking about our drinking water. That’s one of the main reasons I am happy to see In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre poised to launch a new effort dedicated to water.
On Friday, they premiere their new show “Invigorate the Common Well: Come to the Well.” Come to the Well is just part one of a multi-year initiative in the works. I was fortunate enough to see a preview this morning and I encourage you to see the show. I really couldn’t do it justice to try to describe the work, so here is how they express it:
“Grounded in the science — yet flowing with the spirit — of Water, Invigorate the Common Well is a theatrical and civic experience that will inform and inspire all ages to stewardship and action…Each episode features mini-performances, installations and a hands-on “lab” of practical actions and questions, as well as ideas for community advocacy.”
They will be having shows Thursdays thru Sundays in March. You can see their schedule, order tickets, and find more information with this link.