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A wonderful opinion piece on Wednesday by Samuel Reed ("School Trust lands help fund public education. Climate change is a challenge to that," Opinion Exchange). Climate change is a challenge to that. Sadly, there is even more to the story. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has greatly accelerated harvest of Norway pine on school and trust fund lands. The rotation age (the age stands can have a final harvest) is now set at an "economic rotation age" of 60 years. This, of course, was done at the direction of the school and trust land committee that wanted more money flowing into the accounts.

What was not taken into account, as well as ignoring past mistakes on trust and school lands, is the "one and done" mentality that erroneously drives it. Norway pine is a long-lived species in Minnesota. Many of these stands, which have now been gutted, were carefully and wisely managed. Thinnings every 10 years or so improved growth and forest health, and as the stands aged, diversity evolved. The forest products were varied and supplied many forest industries. And they would have continued to do so over decades to come. Last, they stored carbon.

But none of this is happening anymore. The DNR would argue that the stands are being replanted, which apparently is enough for the trust fund committee. This in no way takes into account droughts the last two out of three years, the effect climate change is having on less productive tree species like oak taking over, the loss of a continued steady supply of a wide variety of forest products and the loss of carbon storage. In other words, "one and done" is a loser on all accounts. And to my knowledge after contacting the chair of the trust fund committee, they have no interest in correcting this mistaken mismanagement approach either.

Dan Wilm, Pequot Lakes, Minn.

The writer is a retired DNR forester.


One term was plenty, thanks

Per a Feb. 19 letter: Let's ignore Donald Trump's liability for fraud and sexual assault and the 91 federal and state charges pending, any one of which could result in prison time, and focus on what his four years in office accomplished.

  1. Trump's shameless bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his threats to pull out of NATO presented Russia with an invasion of the Ukraine without consequences. His latest comment that he would encourage Russia to "do whatever the hell they want" to NATO nations does absolutely nothing to stop that war, and his re-election would only encourage Putin.
  2. Under Trump, national debt increased $7.8 trillion, the federal trade deficit in goods and services rose 40%, home prices rose 27%, and his trade battle with China cost Americans up to 250,000 jobs, which contributed to the worst job losses since the Great Depression.
  3. Can't find workers? Trump cut "legal" immigration by 90%. But his removal of illegals was the lowest since ICE was created, and illegal crossings soared 14%.
  4. And talking about uniting the country: His choices for the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, against the wishes of 60% of Americans who say some type of choice for women's health is necessary. Not to mention Trump's continuing divisive rantings that he won the election, even though dozens of judges ruled there was no evidence. The 30% who still believe Trump's lie continue to contribute to this country's division by preaching fake news and that the attempt to overthrow the government was justified.

These basic facts of his administration (see FactCheck.org), and the fact he often babbles incoherently during speeches ("Because you talk about a certain power of the telephone and the calls where they would call and say, no, we don't want to do that"), should terrify everyone contemplating four more years of his erratic, narcissistic, lying and leadership.

Paul Lund, Lakeville


The DFL's antidemocratic moves

On Feb. 14, the Legal Marijuana Now Party filed a response with the Minnesota Supreme Court to Ken Martin, who is Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairman. The state Democratic Party leader wants the state Supreme Court to restrict voters' choices when casting their ballots.

Fortunately the court must consider whether retroactive requirements that were put into place last year, by the DFL, stand up to scrutiny.

Martin is accusing Minnesota LMN of being inadequately organized in 2022. "The Minnesota DFL and the Minnesota GOP are the only two political parties that meet that threshold" under the state's new election laws, enacted in 2023, Martin wrote.

In this case, I'm confident the Supreme Court will agree that revoking ballot access for a party retroactively certainly violates due process.

On March 5, the Legal Marijuana Now Party is asking its voters to help them choose a national presidential ticket. Minnesota LMN Party's presidential primary ballot includes experienced statesmen, movement leaders and popular culture heroes Rudy Reyes, Dennis Schuller and Vermin Supreme. Other candidates' names remain on the ballot, even though they've withdrawn from the running. There's also an option to write in anyone voters want.

The DFL wants to ignore the will of 190,000 Minnesotans who awarded the Legal Marijuana Now Party ballot access, through at least 2024, by casting votes for LMN's United States senator candidate in 2020.

The LMN Party supports democracy. Minnesotans, participate in Legal Marijuana Now caucus night on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., live and in-person in Bloomington, or join online via Zoom, and please vote in the Legal Marijuana Now Party presidential nomination primary on March 5.

Danny Vacek, St. Paul

The writer is a member-at-large, Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party Head Council.


It's men's job to control themselves

This is in response to the Feb. 21 letter "Do I really have to spell this out?" regarding Paula Chesley's commentary about topless laws. Wednesday's writer was clear that she thought laws that required women's breasts to be covered in public was in place because "probably 90%" of men would see breasts as factors in arousal. I'm not sure if it is the percentage — 90% — or the proclivity for arousal that makes it necessary to criminalize being a woman in order to protect men. Either way, it is another case where just being a woman, or being perceived to be a woman, is criminal. The writer should know that many men find ankles, calves, the hint of a knee and stockings to be factors in arousal. Heck, some find the seam of a stocking drawn on the leg in ink ... well ... arousing.

I didn't want my daughters wandering around topless when they were children, and, surprisingly, they didn't seem to want to either. But if they had, and their actions put them in harm's way, I would want laws and law enforcement to focus on protecting them from the aroused men (who seem to have no internal controls) rather than criminalizing them because they were female. My hope for our society is that we stop criminalizing people for who they are — woman, LGBTQ, immigrant, Black, Bahá'í, whatever characteristic or quality is a part of their identity.

It is not a woman's crime if a man observes her and loses all self control. We can agree to that, right?

Thomas Odendahl, Minneapolis


A letter writer's sole argument for retaining laws against female toplessness is based on the outdated reasoning that men cannot control their arousal when exposed to a topless woman. This argument has been used in the past against women wearing short skirts and bikinis. It is illogical and unfair to restrict women's rights due to men's potential reactions. Female toplessness is common on beaches in Europe, and men there seem to have taken the dress code in stride.

Harold Roberts, Excelsior