Reading Farmers push back on buffer strip proposal, Dan Linehan's March 14, 2015 article about HF1534, the buffer bill introduced by Representative Paul Torkelson, Bluestem's eyes teared up at this confession by the Hanska Republican:
“At this point I’ve had no one from Greater Minnesota tell me that they think this is a great idea,” he said Friday.
“I also want to send a message that we in the agriculture community are not anti-buffer,” Torkelson said.
Will no one offer this poor man solace? The bill was introduced on Monday, March 9, 2015 and by Friday, he could remember no one from Great Minnesota telling they even liked the idea.
To cheer up Representative Torkelson, we went looking to see if we could find people from Greater Minnesota who might have told the pork producer that they think this is a great idea. First, we would like to remind him of his co-author, Representative David Bly, Democrat of Northfield.
Unless the sylvan city of cows, colleges and contentment has also become the metropolis of radical gerrymandering, David Bly is a resident of Greater Minnesota. He is a resident of Greater Minnesota thinks this idea is so good that he introduced a clone bill, HF1819 on Thursday, March 12, 2015.
On our personal Facebook page on Sunday, Bly posted this comment:
I have not seen or heard from Rep. Torkelson since the bill was introduced. I had offered to author it. I will see Paul tomorrow at the Leg. Water Commission. Many of my greater Minnesota constituents have e-mailed me that they whole heartedly support the Governor. Many farmers I have talked to say they support the concept and want to work on it. Some agree with clean safe water but don't want a 'one size fits' all approach. A few don't want anyone telling them what to do. I have a few farmers tell me they are concerned about the practices of their neighbors and recognize the need for some enforcement.
Dairy farmer James Kanne, a Franklin area dairy farmer who is one of Torkelson's constituents commented:
Saw and talked with Paul on Thur before and after the committee meeting. This was only mentioned in passing, he knows we support the concept and we are willing to work on the details. Most of our conversation centered around the bill on the table that neuters the citizens board for the MPCA. Personally I would like to see a provision that works with the landowners to improve results, t-values, of the water leaving their property. How each farmer would do this would depend on their circumstances. In some cases narrow buffer strips are fine in others complex systems may be needed to control the runoff into the waterway. We all want clean water and will do what we can where we can to get it.
Karen Johnson Flom, the office manager for the Renville County Soil and Water District posted this note:
I sent him an email on Friday thanking him for introducing the bill and quoted 4 positive comments from Renville County landowners.
Our final example to help Representative Torkelson cheer up about the bill he authored comes from Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) in Montevideo, Minnesota, a rural, grassroots membership organization that's dedicated to conservation in the lovely Upper Minnesota River Valley.
All of Torkelson's district is in the Minnesota River watershed, and what with his being the author of the bill and all, we're surprised he hasn't been contacted by members and staff of the group. He and his staff must not go on social media much, since the (mostly) energetic young staff at CURE has been tweeting away about #BuffersNow.
Here's a nice tweet with a picture from Thursday by Ariel Herrod, a CURE staffer who lives in Montevideo.
The seat of Chippewa County, Montevideo is 129 miles west of The Cities. Representative Torkelson must have missed Tom Cherveny's article in the West Central Tribune about the #BuffersNews campaign:
We sincerely hope that this brief digest cheers Representative Torkelson up about his bill. Listening to all those Debbie Downers at the commodity groups would depress anyone.
If you live in Greater Minnesota and would like to help brighten Representative Torkelson's week, please call him or email him at:
651-296-9303 or 888-727-3891
Be very polite about your support of the bill. If you want to learn more about the proposal so that you feel more confident about your message to Representative Torkelson, Bluestem recommended the DNR's new Governor's Buffer Initiative webpage.
Meme: An example of the pro-buffers social media Greater Minnesotans are sharing.
If you appreciate Bluestem's posts, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen P.O. Box 108, Maynard MN 56260) or use the paypal button below:
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