Letter: Legacy amendment money must be spent wisely
I have read with interest the articles in the Globe on Lake Ocheda and also the one by Scott Rall on his having misgivings about spending more of the legacy amendment money on trying to curb invasive species in our lakes and waterways.
I applaud Mr. Rall's not wanting to spend more of the legacy fund money on what presently passes for an effort to attack the invasive species problem. It is beating around the bush and not addressing the real problem, and it winds up spending a lot of tax money and doing nothing.
The cause of it all is our government giving the southern fish farmers the right to import the exotic species of carp, and then allowing them to escape from their rearing ponds and into the environment. It also involves the allowing of the ocean-going ships to come into our Great Lakes and dump their ballast water -- full of invasive species -- into them to spread from there. If there is money needed to correct the problem, it should come from a class action lawsuit against the perpetrators of these misdeeds. And to prevent further occurrences, a good jacking up of our federal government is in order.
This "business as usual at all costs" thing has to change. Obviously the costs are too high, and the bill always paid by the taxpayer in the form of government agencies too busy padding their payrolls and spending tax money to appear to be doing something about the problem.
I say good for you, Scott, and while you are at it, please don't vote for any more legacy fund money for the Okabena Ocheda Watershed District to piddle away on fixing Paul Langseth's 20-foot washed-out bank with tons and tons of clay and rock and fabric to plant grass and trees on. This takes care of Mr. Langseth's bank, but does nothing to correct what caused the bank to wash away and keep it from washing away again. Only removing the decades-old dam from the lake that has held it at a level it could not live with will accomplish that. It will also give the lake a chance to get rid of the silt that the dam has held in the lake all these years and regain the two feet of depth that Mr. Langseth claims it has lost. I don't think he would understand that, any more than he would be able to understand how his 20-foot bank got washed away.
As for preventing further problems look no further than the DNR, which was put in charge of all these WPA dams and has never had the intelligence or courage to step up and say that these dams were terrible mistakes and gotten rid of them as soon as possible. Sealing the awful leaking of tax money by agencies of government like the DNR and the Watershed Districts would be a great savings in any event. And, in the case of the Okabena Ocheda Watershed District, at least there would be no place for Mr. Langseth to attend meetings as a SWCD administrator and get $170,000 of legacy fund money to spend on his personal property.