AGAIN We Have To Defend the Fens
Last month, we celebrated as the MPCA agreed to extend the deadline for public comment on a feedlot proposal to allow time for critical research to be completed. This research will help determine the proposal’s impact on a rare type of wetland known as a calcareous fen.
However, we just learned this critical research won’t be completed before the end of the extension. Barrick Farms proposes to build a new feedlot with over 16,000 hogs near three of these fragile calcareous fens.
Calcareous fens are a special type of wetland that support highly diverse and rare plants that depend on a constant supply of upwelling groundwater. These wetlands are one of the rarest natural communities in Minnesota. And, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff, all three calcareous fens near the proposed feedlot are potentially at risk from the 15 million gallon per year well that Barrick Farms would build.
In July, MCEA discovered that an ‘aquifer pump test’ that would study the proposal’s impact on the fens would not be completed before the public comment period ended. In response to nearly 500 MCEA action takers, the MPCA announced an extension of the public comment period to Friday, September 18th.
Unfortunately, MCEA staff received an update from a DNR hydrologist on Thursday, September 10th that the pump test will not be ready by that deadline—and likely not for at least a month or longer. The public must have the data in order to participate fully in the public comment period. We must understand the impact this feedlot may have on these rare wetlands before the comment period closes.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MINNESOTA DECISION MAKERS
A BROAD AND GROWING MOVEMENT SAYS THE TIME IS NOW TO STOP LINE 3
RIGHT NOW: Help spread the word to stop Line 3, even while we social distance this summer, by getting a lawn sign!
The Minnesota Senate has decided to freeze funding
from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund
until next year, they say, in case these funds need to be
raided to balance the budget!
But remember, the purpose of the ENRTF is "to provide a long-term, consistent, and stable source of funding for activities that protect, conserve, preserve, and enhance Minnesota's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources for the benefit of current citizens and future generations."
A draft consensus of Trust Fund projects and studies has been on the Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources table since last July. In the House, HF 4498, is ready to go, thanks to chief author Rep. Rick Hanson.
WE MUST LET SENATORS KNOW THAT THEIR PLAN TO DELAY IS UNACCEPTABLE!
Please call or email them TODAY!
START WITH Senate Majority Leader, Paul Gazelka (09, R), (651) 296-4875.
THEN CALL OR EMAIL, members of the key Senate committee responsible for this: Environment and Natural Resources Finance
Vice Chair: Ruud
Committee Office Phone: (651) 297-8063
Click on PDF for the Environment and Natural Resources Finance committee members and their contact information: