Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sundry thoughts on a sunny afternoon

photo of horses in a pasture
© harrington
Welcome. As you can see from the picture, the neighbor across the road keeps horses. I think they're "retired" draft horses. I know they look wonderful standing around and grazing in the back pasture. I've mentioned that the neighbor down the road has a herd of yaks. This neighborhood has become eclectically rustic and bucolic. On the other hand, we could use many more dragon flies and bats to thin out the local flocks of mosquitoes. Since we're out side the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, we don't have to be concerned about any of their contract helicopters crashing in the neighborhood. On the other hand, from what I've read, MMCD does a more thorough job of control than the local bats, birds and dragonflies. (What would Rachel Carson think if she saw what I just wrote?) Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for the next several days. I think our current weather pattern is preferable to an extended drought, but am self-centered enough to wish we could limit our rains to one day every three or four, with sunny skies and gentle breezes and temps in the mid-70s in between. I know, I'm describing heaven, not our Minnesota. Speaking of Minnesota, yesterday, Dennis Anderson had a column in the Strib about our lack of an overall plan for prairie preservation and wildlife conservation. He lists a number of organizations involved:
"Yes, we have the Department of Natural Resources. And the Board of Water and Soil Resources. And the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, among other state and federal agencies.
"Minnesota is also home to more and more active wildlife, conservation and environmental groups than any other state. And we have the Legacy Act, which provides about $100 million a year for fish, game and wildlife habitat.
"But Minnesota’s conservation and natural-heritage preservation problems can’t be solved by a wetland project here and a wildlife management area established there."
It's probably just me, but it seems that the Ojibwes and Dakotas, and other Native Americans, could be asked what they think. I seem to recall rumors that Native Americans were living sustainable lives using indigenous, renewable resources, for quite awhile before we white folks showed up and spoiled the party by monetizing natural resources. I wonder if any of our resource agencies (governmental or nonprofit) thought to invite any "first peoples" to the Summit. I agree with Dennis that it's going to take all the resources we can muster to preserve what we have left. Maybe the Ojibwe and Dakota bands living in Minnesota and the Dakota's (heck, I'll even include Wisconsin) could be shown how and why it's worth their while to take part in a prairie reclamation effort. Maybe, by making it clear to Native Americans, we could then be more successful in explaining it to the rest of us. We're talking about trying to "create a commons." From what I've read, Native Americans are much better at living with and managing a commons than capitalistic Anglo-Europeans. What do you think? Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served daily.