Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: New conservation road map far from a plan for success

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 11, 2008 - 9:29 AM

The temptation while wading through the 300-plus-page Minnesota Statewide Conservation and Preservation Plan unveiled this week by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) is to suggest that -- if this is indeed what plans are -- then the U.S. military was better off without one to govern its post-invasion strategy in Iraq.

Heavy on scholarly assessments and pronouncements but largely devoid of accountability designations, the plan is intended to provide a road map to a future Minnesota in which cleaner waters flow, "critical" lands are set aside, damaged habitats are restored and financial incentives for a sustainable society are offered.

The hope is that the plan, developed by the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment and various consultants, will help the state conserve its waters and lands before a tipping point is reached and many of its most important resources are gone for good.

Don't count on it.

Not only because the plan (intentionally, perhaps, given the oftentimes milquetoast nature of such documents) fails so thoroughly to call a spade a spade. But because while examining so ponderously the "big picture" of Minnesota's manifold conservation ills, it fails to lay bare the most fundamental, and politically dicey, obstacles needed to be overcome before meaningful conservation progress can occur.

Two of which are:

• The unchecked avarice in Minnesota that has nearly always placed individual, corporate and community profiteering ahead of resource conservation.

• A lack of conservation leadership.

Here's a spade, unvarnished:

Minnesota was settled by economic opportunists who rather quickly found advantage in placing or cultivating their handmaidens in the governor's office and the Legislature. Throughout the state's history, including yet today, the opportunists' intent has been to grease the economic and policy skids for agriculture, mining and other important state industries.

Another spade:

Time after time, average Minnesotans have enabled the handiwork of these politicians, most often because they vote their pocketbooks first and their conservation concerns last, or nearly so.

Or because --this is usually the case -- they fail to appreciate the severe environmental damage that can occur incrementally over generations.

Until this matrix changes, no conservation plan in the world will make a significant difference, particularly not one whose authors lack the backbone to place blame where it most deservedly belongs:

On all of us.

Conservation leadership is our best hope.

History has demonstrated repeatedly that real change is most likely to occur when individuals in positions of influence, or small groups of such people, define a vision for a better future and successfully lead people toward that vision.

The plan delivered this week by the U's Institute on the Environment, et al., doubtless will serve many good purposes over time.

The best of which would be if the LCCMR assumed its rightful leadership role and reconstituted the plan's most important findings and recommendations.

This second document should be considerably abbreviated (five pages or less), and punctuated by the addition of specific delineations of responsibility and accountability.

Absent that, Minnesota will remain where it has been for quite some time.

Up a creek. And a dirty one at that.

Dennis Anderson danderson@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Read the report

    Wednesday July 9, 2008

  • Venison program to go on

    Friday July 11, 2008

    Minnesota's venison donation program will continue this fall, with changes designed to prevent lead bullet fragments from contaminating meat.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - J. Lester 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Carolina 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Dallas
Colorado 8:00 PM
Calgary
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close