Monday, April 19, 2010

rocket science

I got to see some gals from back home last weekend. It was a blast. So much fun to catch up. Good food. Fun times.

I had to drive a little to get myself to brunch. On the way, I passed many a field. Many. A. Field.

And I started thinking.

I don't think I've ranted on this topic here before. It's not necessarily a passion of mine....or a call I feel towards social activism. Perhaps a call to common sense? To The Greater Good. To Thinking About Thy Neighbor.

Where am I going with this?

Good question.

I live in the lovely state of Minnesota. We have this thing here called No Net Loss. It's about wetland protection to put it completely plainly. Which is the only way I know how to put it. What it means is: if a big company, say Wal Mart, builds a gigantic store on land that had been protected or labeled as "Wetland", then they must pay for someone else or for themselves to put an equal amount of qualifying land that had not been previously categorized as "Wetland" into "Wetland." Which makes sense, right? Yes.

It's all well and good. Wetland is good. Good for wildlife. Good for everyone.

I have no problem with No Net Loss.

I have a problem with drain tiles. (Stay with me, this eventually ties together....sort of....)

Miles and miles and miles and miles of drain tiles.

I'm sure you've seen it.

This time of year, or any time of year when the ground isn't frozen or planted, you can drive yourself into the country and see farmers laying black plastic tubing into their fields. It keeps things dry helping to dispel standing water. Which is fantastic for farmers. Fantastic!


Do you know what happens with water that once filtered into the ground slowly, that now quickly and efficiently funnels out of a field? It goes somewhere else. Like to the rivers and ditches and lakes and any other place that does not have drain tile.

All over my wonderful state we are experiencing record Springtime flooding. Where is all this water coming from the people wonder....hmmmm?

It's such a mystery.

Perhaps we could have something called No Net Gain? Maybe for every mile of drain tile placed in the ground a few gallons of worth of water withholding could be built? A lake? A diversion? Something?

Am I the only one who gets her undies in a bundle over problems that have seemingly simple solutions? I know we aren't the only place in the world with this problem. And don't get me started about the chemicals that have been ushered by drain tiles into the aquifers and rivers and lakes and streams and oceans.


redeemed diva said...

Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech! Brambleberry for Change! Yeah!!!!
You have my vote...even though I'm not an American...but yes, I agree.
Hey Your slogan could be Brambleberry Grace...BG...and You and I can make a BIG difference.
This is not tongue in cheek at all. I'm actually very serious about this. I could be your campaign manager and we can right the wrongs of Minnesota. Of which, I am hugely fond of because I grew up in Thunder Bay on the border of MN...I love you, Duluth and Grand Marais!!!!
Ok, sleepy time now. Anyway, I just wanted to write that my undies are also in a knot.
Great post, BG! And very fitting title post

Anonymous said...

while i think that this no net gain program is a good one. hooray, for something better than nothing, i am always sad when you lose established wild lands. we have this "plant a tree" program, where developers have to plant trees when they clear for housing, and it's like okay, all these piddly little stalks will no way make up for lost mature land....
anyway.......sorry about the rant, i'm behind you on this one!!!!

maybe one day common sense will outweight the mighty $$$$

Visty said...

I was always on to your drain tiles before you mentioned them. We are thinking together today!

I haven't seen them, but I've heard about them. The problem with that water is that it's some of the world's most poisonous water. The pesticides and fertilizers and manure that condense and get washed away into that waste water do not filter out through regular municipal water systems.

That water IS going somewhere else, and that place is south.

The Midwest farm giants are no dummies.

And all that flooding the Midwest sees every freaking wet season: drain tiles.

By developing wetlands into farm with drain tiles, that land is no longer able to absorb water, thus the flooding.

It's a tough situation.

Visty said...

My first sentence makes no sense! and I'm a little hard to follow after that. Hey, I only had 4 hours of sleep last night.

But: summary: I'm with you, sister!!