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Letter: Finally, a good decision from the DNR

By Andy Olson, Windom The DNR's uncharacteristic decision to eliminate the washed out Blue Mounds dam is a marked departure from its previous history of damming our shallow lakes and streams. One who attempts to understand DNR policy becomes bewi...

By Andy Olson, Windom

The DNR's uncharacteristic decision to eliminate the washed out Blue Mounds dam is a marked departure from its previous history of damming our shallow lakes and streams. One who attempts to understand DNR policy becomes bewildered as there is no apparent method to their ongoing madness. The DNR plunges ahead with their misguided damming policy and remains oblivious to any criticism or oversight, simply because their funding is dedicated. Consequently, they operate with no regard for push back from any citizen or jurisdiction, which if one is honest can be characterized as totalitarianism.

Regardless of the source of dedicated funding, it still is a drain of money that is derived from taxation, be it voluntary or involuntary. In my opinion, the DNR has done  little to enhance our natural resources and has paradoxically degraded the water and resources of our lakes and streams. I submit that much of this dedicated funding is simply wasted. Oh, the legislature would love to source this squandered money. Go out today and observe any southwest Minnesota water and my supposition should be self-evident. In point of fact, permit me to demonstrate how DNR management of southwest Minnesota's largest shallow lake, Heron Lake, is an example.

Historical accounts of Heron Lake in the early decades of the 20th century document crystal clear water with wonderful native fishing and prolific duck hunting. However, in 1937 proceeded with dry years, a better idea to capture scarce water culminated in construction of a 130-foot dam across the outlet. The dam was the primary catastrophic event that over the subsequent decades would transform southwest Minnesota's premier sportsman lake into a polluted mess devoid of native spawning fish, ducks and all the accompanying wildlife.

The DNR has steadfastly supported the lake controllers that demand high water with more bigger and better replacement dams. Despite requests from the Heron Lake Restoration Association to remove the dam, the DNR has maintained deaf ears and responded with obstinate totalitarianism. Unfortunately, space does not afford a more in-depth and detailed case for dam removal. The DNR even has plans in the works to build more dams on our southwest Minnesota shallow lakes, with Long Lake in Cottonwood County being one. Suddenly, the decision to remove the Blue Mounds dam signals the Emperor may have second thoughts of continuing to dam full speed ahead?

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if the DNR would establish a policy to remove all the shallow lake dams and then allow the lakes to heal themselves? Given years they would, and at no cost to the taxpayer.

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