Monday, December 10, 2007

Take a Cup of Kindness

KAXE member Gord Prickett is a member of the Aitkin County Water Planning Task Force. Gord recently wrote this article for the Aitkin Independent Age:

The turbulent year comes to its final month - a few weeks to go. The globe is warmer. A busy metro bridge is rubble in the river. Local schools beg for money. One searches for something to agree about. One child, one youth, one person matters. 'Tis a season to give thanks, sing, pray and promise. Never again - in Darfur or the Gulf Coast. Conserve, preserve, protect, think into the future. What size footprints, and where are we going to leave them?

In a short time we will clock another lap for our spinning earth - the end of 2007. I prefer to think about what good and kind things have happened recently and not dwell on the year's tragedies and disappointments, without forgetting them. The best we can do should be our goal - the kindest gift to new generations hurrying toward us. And to me, this focuses the Aitkin Lakes Area on its waters. Our "Waterworks."

Protecting our waters

For a year some of us have tried to get the attention of the county officials responsible for shoreland protection and water quality. We have asked the Commissioners to examine and adopt new standards most suitable for Aitkin County from those prepared for our five-county area, which three of our own leaders helped to write.

The good news is that some of the officials showed up at a shoreland conference in June where the standards were examined. In September we got new shoreland standards on the board agenda, but many who showed up for the meeting had no chance to enter the boardroom or be heard. The issue of shoreland protection has been put off into the winter and next spring.

Whenever I bring up the subject of ordinances, rules and regulations, the current leadership of our government tells me that they (and those they listen to) think there are already enough or too many rules about shoreline development. Their rights to do as they please with "their property" adjoining the public waters is "their business." I will continue to make the case for better protection of those shallow, fragile lakes with little or no development as yet.

Recent subdivisions put in at Birch Lake and Spectacle Lake in Hazelton Township are examples where "Natural Environment" rules are not sufficient to preserve lake quality, in my opinion. A new classification and safeguards for such vulnerable lakes is one of the Alternative Standards that I consider the most valuable legacy we can create for Aitkin County. Perhaps the name of this classification can be shortened to "PROTECTED LAKES." If this matters to you, tell your Commissioner.

No comments: