While the Star Tribune's Doug Smith reported back in December in Sunrise or sunset for pheasants? Summit seeks solutions that pheasant hunters, pollinator protectors and water quality advocates saw value in buffer strips, Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) dismissed the notion at a recent town hall in Sleepy Eye.
In Agricultural issues discussed at Town Hall meeting Friday, Sleepy Eye Dispatch reporter Terri Mellheim writes:
. . .As for Dayton’s proposal, both Torkelson and Dahms agreed that as it was presented, it doesn’t have much chance of becoming a regulation.
“We as farmers don’t want to be anti-buffer, but we want those buffers to do some good. We don’t need them everywhere and we have programs in place to help farmers put in buffers and we don’t want to mess up those programs. It is a complicated area to work in and I personally don’t think it makes very good sense for wildlife unless you are a coyote,” Torkelson commented.He went on to explain that when a public ditch gets reassessed, it is public requirement of a 16- foot buffer, which is a lot different than 50 feet and is there mostly for ditch maintenance so they have a place to pile dirt and clean out the ditches.
Well then. Perhaps someone needs to discuss water quality with the Hanska pork producer.
But the statement reflects Torkelson's wisdom in avoiding December's Pheasant Summit in Marshall, as he might have had to engage with a person involved in conservation who was quoted in Smith's article:
Only one legislator attended the summit, an absence noted by Tom Kalahar of Olivia, who works for the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District. “It’s disheartening,’’ he said. “All of the legislators from the region should have been here.’’
Torkelson represents a sliver of Renville County.
Photo: A ditch in SW Minnesota where a farmer hasn't observed the one-rod rule.
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