From: David White

 

The Land Stewardship Project is an organization of citizens working to protect our natural environment from land uses that negatively affect the general public. In Southeast Minnesota, very large dairy farms are a primary example, causing nitrate pollution of the groundwater that many rural residents rely on for their well water, as well as pollution of local streams when heavy rains cause runoff from adjacent fields. This problem is especially acute here in Southeast Minnesota because of our limestone and sandstone bedrock that allows surface water to penetrate into the groundwater and the hilly landscape that causes it flow into local streams. The recent fish kill in Rush Creek where an estimated 2,500 fish died is an example of this. Many local wells in farming areas are contaminated with nitrates above the 10 parts per million (ppm) which is safe for human consumption. An acquaintance of mine, living near Lewiston, has 19 ppm of nitrates in their well water, requiring them to buy water for drinking and cooking.

The Land Stewardship Project promotes smaller, more diverse family farms that utilize grazing, diverse animal husbandry, and minimal tillage. It works with farmers to promote regenerative farming practices that keep more organic material in the soil. The local chapter of the Land Stewardship Project meets twice a month. We are currently focused on working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and their efforts to establish the cause of the recent Rush Creek fish kill. To that end, we are planning a meeting with the representatives of Governor Walz and the MPCA.

Anyone interested in learning about the Land Stewardship Project and helping to promote our environmental efforts would be welcome to join. For an introduction to our group, you can call Dave White at 507-452-2176 or Tim Ahrens at 507-459-8896.