I would have attended the recent WPSWCD/NRCS Local Work Group meeting, had I known about it beforehand.

    An open letter to the West Polk Soil and Water Conservation District:

    Re: Crookston Daily Times article “Local Work Group Meeting To Discuss Local Resource Conservation Concerns” – April 19, 2018 - 10 to 11 a.m.

    Notice of your work group meeting was published in the Crookston Daily Times on April 19, which was delivered in the afternoon after your meeting. I’ve been waiting for possibly another meeting with notice ahead of the meeting. I guess not.

    I would have attended even though I’m not a farm owner/operator - “encourage participation from local farmers/operators and other land users….” I do live here and see what’s happening in land use on agricultural land.

    It would be of interest to hear how soil conservationists look at our environment. As trees and tree rows have been taken out everywhere here in ag country - how do soil conservationists view this? As we drive back roads it seems we can look north or south and see miles of unprotected open land. How can this be good? Why were there government tree planting programs after the 1930’s and 1950’s and extending into the 1970’s. These were all wrong?

    I’m sure one modern day answer is we are using crop stubble to hold soil in place. Yet many fields have no stubble above ground. They seem wide open and prone to soil movement in wind or water.

    A short drive from Crookston in any direction will find fields with wind blown dirt in ditches and waterways.

    I would have liked to hear how local farmers/conservationists look at this. These are the people win charge of our soil. They are either paid professionals or own the land and have the most concern. (We who live here year round and breathe the air and depend on the water are concerned too.)

    There is always a negative reaction when government proclaims the need to make changes. For example - buffers along water ways, reduce chances of nitrogen fertilizer moving from fields.

    I would have liked to have been reassured at your meeting that, yes our first conservationists are being proactive, and we are not set up for another “dirty thirties.”

    The silence of soil conservationists these days in deafening.