Thursday, June 03, 2010

Rules and rivers, both are in danger

The first rule of blogging is to update said blog on a regular basis. But rules are made to be broken and I love, love, love to break rules. For instance I sometimes speed while driving - usually a whopping 5 miles per hour over the limit on wide open freeways. Yeah, I'm a real badass. I also throw jars in the recycling without washing them - but I'm feeling like less of a badass in that department after DeRusha's Good Question last night.

But back to that first rule of blogging. Being that I'm a total badass, I'm not going to apologize for the past two or three months because shit happens and while I'll say that I wish that said shit had continued indefinitely, it hasn't so here I am back at what I used to do which boils down to me boring a few readers who pass by and find this and writing the occasional, hard-hitting post which connects with a few folks.

Then it hit me, yesterday I saw a blurb somewhere about the nation's most endangered rivers or bodies of water. One name in particular stuck out at me. The Cedar River. Hell, I know the Cedar River. I grew up adjacent to Austin which the Cedar River passes through and bestows a 100 year flood on the city every 8 years or so.

To most folks, the Cedar River is nothing more than a nuisance. It cuts the city in half and, as I said, it floods incessantly. But the increased flooding, I think, is directly linked to its endangered status. Sure, it has flooded numerous times in the past but because of the increased demands on the river upstream from the city of Austin by way of farm drainage, the floods have become infinitely more frequent.

Common sense would say that something needs to be done both about the increased demands placed on the river and its flooding problems within the city of Austin. While the city has bought up hundreds of homes located in what has turned out to be a rather vast flood plain, there is still work to be done. The environment-loving hippie in me says that we need to restore wetlands along the river to slow the flow of water and catch sediment and pollutants from the farmland's runoff but the farm-boy in me says to farm every inch of soil that doesn't blow or wash away. But there is a balance and I've seen it up close on my parent's farm. Realize that some areas aren't meant to be farmed. Just because you own it doesn't mean that it's fit for traditional crop farming. Seed some filter strips along the river and its tributaries and consider cutting a few drainage tiles and letting nature have its way with the low-lying areas which seem far better-suited for ducks rather than corn.

Lastly, get out and appreciate Minnesota or at least the stunning photos from across the state showcased daily at MinnPics.

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