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Continued: Anderson: An open letter to Dayton for the Governor's Pheasant Opener

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 11, 2013 - 12:33 AM

Consequently, insects whose life cycles were interrupted by the broader rotations now must be wiped out by insecticides, which with the herbicides and fertilizer required to grow today’s monolithic crops create quite a toxic soup affecting the state’s waters, while generating a hostile environment for wildlife.

Unfortunately, because there’s big money to be made in Big Ag, policymakers mostly just shrug in response. State laws aren’t even enforced to keep farmers from plowing up public roadsides to plant corn and beans where only grasses are legally allowed.

No big deal, you say?

It is when you remember that 500,000 acres of roadsides exist in the state’s pheasant range, making each acre critical if you’re a bird.

Again, governor, none of this is meant to rain on your parade this weekend. Pheasant hunters and other conservationists really do appreciate that you’ll show up.

And if the good people of Madelia want to call their city the Pheasant Capital, who’s to argue?

The way things are going, someday soon 11 birds counted per 100 miles driven might be enough to regain the title.

 

Dennis Anderson • danderson@startribune.com

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