Sunday, September 1, 2013

Best and Highest?*

photo of the backyard of where I live
© harrington
Hi. Are you enjoying the Labor Day Weekend so far? It became much more enjoyable around here after the cool front came through and the temperature and humidity dropped noticeably. Unfortunately, we didn't get much rain. Fortunately, we didn't get any damage from severe thunderstorms. On that note, let's get to the question that marks the three-quarter point of the bioregional quiz Where you at. "15.    What is the land-use history of where you live?" Let's review where we're talking about in terms of where we live. We live in the exurbs of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, near the headwaters of the the Sunrise River watershed, which is tributary to the St. Croix River. We're also near the eastern edge of the Anoka Sand Plain and immediately adjacent to an eastern boundary of the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area [WMA]. For an overview of the land use of the St Croix valley, take a look at this summary from the Minnesota Historical Society. The land use history of the immediate locale where we live may (or may not) have been farmland, possibly pasturage. However, almost the entire township outside the WMA is zoned rural residential. You know, the low density zoning that creates sprawl and lets elderly Scandinavian bachelor farmers believe they'll be able to sell the farm to a developer when they want to retire. It's not clear whether our location ever grew sufficient board feet of lumber to have been logged over. It is clear that the sand plain makes generally poor farmland. No poem today, Instead, here's something to contemplate about land use.
"There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot... Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now, we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free." — A Sand County Almanac
A Sand County Almanac, a collection of essays and observations, was written decades ago by Aldo Leopold, the father of the American conservation movement.
I think tomorrow's question could be really challenging. Here it is:        "16.    What primary ecological event/process influenced the land where you live?  
(Bonus special: what’s the evidence?) Thanks for visiting. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.
* the most probable use of land or improved property that is legally possible, physically possible, financially feasible (and appropriately supportable) from the market, and which results in maximum profitability.