Friday, May 1, 2015

More dots to connect

These are the current possession limits for walleyes for Lake Mille Lacs:
Walleye: All less than 19.0" or greater than 21.0" must be immediately released, except one 28.0" or greater is allowed in possession. Possession limit one. [accessed 5/1/15 at 1:15pm]
This is the current fish consumption advisory for Lake Mille Lacs:


If I'm tracking this correctly, and I may not be, it should be "safe" for my family to eat one meal per week of any one walleye between 19" and 20" we could legally keep if we caught one exactly that size. If we wanted to consume our legal walleye catch of a fish 28" or more, we should only do so one a month. That certainly encourages catch and release, or not going in the first place.

Mille Lacs Lake had been known as a premier walleye fishery. What with Aquatic Invasive Species, related boat inspections and the combination of a stressed fishery and consumption advisories, are those days gone forever? How concerned are the Chippewa about mercury-contaminated walleye consumption by band members, especially children? From the available reports, including the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's recent Swimmable, Fishable, Fixable?, more than 95% of the Minnesota waters tested mercury contaminated fish swimming in them. I don't think that's what Congress meant by "fishable, swimmable." Does that contamination constitute a violation of treaty rights? Could Xcel Energy be subject to litigation for their opposition to several solar gardens, since that might be seen, and proved, as hindering the rate of conversion to energy sources that don't deposit mercury into Minnesota waters? I'm not trying to be as technically accurate here as I could, I'm more concerned by what seems to be a lack of dots getting connected in Minnesota's environmental protection and natural resource management strategies. The sources of our energy affects our water quality and fisheries. Too many of our farmers are providing feedstock rather than food and that's not an OK trade-off in my opinion, either.

silos aren't good for connecting dots
silos aren't good for connecting dots
Photo by J. Harrington

These are silos. Even if you live in "The Cities," you've probably seen some. There's little, if any, connection among them. Silos often keep us from connecting the dots. It seems to me that entirely too much of Minnesota's future is being stored in silos. I don't think, based on where we are today, enough trends are pointed toward "Success" instead of "Fail." The legislature isn't going to be able to fix these problems with an amendment, or even an entire bill, that changes a number or prohibits enforcement of a regulation, unless they get out of their own particluar political silos. As Minnesotans, don't we deserve better? Who's leading the conversations of how we get better results from our political and regulatory systems?

Jack

By Sara Backer 
I have become the smaller flag on a ship,
the shorter rafters of a roof, a knave
in a pack of cards. I wear a skimpy coat,
tall leather boot, and leather drinking flask.
I am captured in a child's game
and hit when grown men gamble.
I am what they call a tame ape.

I was a common man
whose job was to lift weight.
Mechanical devices that replaced
my muscles took my job and pay
and more—they took my human name.
And I, who used to pull
my master's boots, hoist meat
and turn the spit, work the roller
and the winch, climb the steeple,
strike the bell and connect lines
in telephone exchange, am a daw,
the tiniest of crows, gathering
loose sticks to nest in castle ruins.

The solace of six centuries—and still—
is once, on a high and windy hill,
beside a well that was clear and full,
I kissed a girl named Gylle.


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