Anderson: Invasives feeding off indifference

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 9, 2012 - 10:03 PM

The fight to stop aquatic invasive species in Minnesota needs to become a higher priority.

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milomilotooAug. 7, 1211:56 PM

I agree that the spread of milfoil and zebra mussels are the least of our worries considering "their further spread will occur naturally, by bird and animal'. In the long run, the Asian Carp are a much greater threat to our resources. It's time for the DNR to step up, put provincial politics aside and prioritize their efforts, rather implementing ineffective measures to placate a vocal minority in the hope of solving a problem that can't and won't be stopped.

bsjhawkeyeAug. 8, 1212:13 AM

Hmmm - Certainly enough money for some people to act. All I ask is that all lakes and all boaters are treated the same. Can't have different rules for rich Christmas Lake owners than anyone else. It is not their lake last I looked, just their lakeshore property. The water is and always has been public. I understand the need, and I understand the passion - but it seems a little lop-sided. It seems to me all lakes should be treated the same. What are they going to do to the waterfowl who might also spread Zebra Mussels? Make them check in at a far-away inspection center? No "foreign" ducks allowed? It seems to me that public water deserves public debate and equal treatment. All I ask is that you keep it real. Ask everyone, not just the rich. We share a common goal, but I sense a completely different agenda.

martiankingAug. 8, 12 1:35 AM

Dennis is completely spot on with this piece. Unless it's your ox being gored, most people don't give a rip about environmental issues. We differ so much from Europe, where many of our ancestors came from, in that we can only care about what we see out our back windows. Now all this short-sightedness is coming home to roost. Our duck potholes are being drained or developed, we are surely going to lose most of our duck habitat. The same goes for our pheasant breeding ares. Now our fisheries are going to pot. It amazes me that since we have so many people that claim to love to go hunt and fish in this state, that they don't muster their resources and pressure the legislatures to do something about the problems now, instead of trying to fix the problem after it's gone and left the corral.

goodloonAug. 8, 12 2:00 AM

Even the DNR says birds and waterfowl do not spread zebra mussels, people do. Otherwise every lake would be infested, but it is the larger lakes with allot of transient boat traffic that have become infested. If lake property values go down because of zebes, everyone pays to make up the decrease in tax base. DNR better get with the program and tell the Legislators what it will take to save some of MN's lakes. Or maybe people still don't understand what is at risk.

LiberalOne46Aug. 8, 12 7:01 AM

The "ox being gored" term is accurate and the lakeshore owners feel it the most and therefore are being the most aggressive. Then someone like bsjhawkeye and many others turn this into the rich versus others issue. Stop the envy. Lakeshore owners are good people trying desperately to protect the lakes...not keep others off "their" lake.

verdepatoAug. 8, 12 7:14 AM

Even if you double the national debt to 30 trillion you will not stop the invasives from spreading unless you are willing to kill all wildlife. No looks into the places where these invasives come from to see what happens after time. From what I can learn life will go on. and invasives will always fill a niche.

pomooneAug. 8, 12 7:14 AM

LiberalOne46 - I think the resentment towards "wealthy" lakeshore property owners comes from the fact that many of these same individuals were dead silent when the infestations began in other lakes, and only became involved once the threat reached their shores. Also, while I am certainly generalizing, the majority (given the districts where these lakes are located) of these property owners are the same folks who have for decades voted for conservative candidates who seek to gut government funding, scream individualism, and whine about how groups like the Sierra Club are ruining their "way of life." I guarantee Anderson's frustration with the legislature has far more to do with the republican leadership than the dems on this particular issue (even though both are at fault to a certain degree). It is easy to get frustrated with lakeshore owners and make it an "us vs. them" class-warfare argument when many of these districts have been voting against any sorts of funding for urban property owners for so many years.

LiberalOne46Aug. 8, 12 7:24 AM

Pomoone: You may be right, but democrats mostly have been running this state since the late 1940's. The othe side of the argument is politicians have been taking the position that wealthy lakeshore homeowners can solve these problems themselves...they have the money ro do so. So they have decided to spend tax dollars expanding social programs. I think Anderson has been equally frustrated with the DNR under democrat control.

CayshedAug. 8, 1210:35 AM

I am total denial about invasive species. I can see pictures of them, the sharp edges of the Zebra even cut my feet last summer, scientists (some with Ph.D's even!) are studying them, but I STILL don't believe they are there. And, even if they are there, it certainly isn't anything that man has done. Invasive species have come and gone for millions of years, and they will continue to do so. To think that man has ANY impact on this whatsoever is ridiculous. (sarcasm off).

oldmetvetAug. 8, 1210:43 AM

A graduate of Minnetonka and grew up as a resident, of Lake Minnewashta, I resent this lake owner, isolationism attitude. I have worked on Gull Lake,fished, Mille Lacs, Prior and Leech. I work with a network of over 200 fishing contacts and know for a fact we all ardently check our boats before and after. I 've heard more than once that if these lake owners stop access, people may just go out of their way to dump some species in revolt. Neither of these policies is helpful and I know there must be a better way.Although, I don't have much faith in the Do Nothing Right Dept. or worse yet our politicians.


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