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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Savagery of Ignorance

The full depth of this story has yet to be revealed. When it is, we will all be astonished at the extent to which our ecological futures still depend upon the individual and collective actions of people who are unable or completely unwilling to see human beings as an integral part of the biotic community of the earth, rather than something alien and independent of all other biota.

The tale surfaces with the belated discovery of a white pelican rookery destroyed at a southern Minnesota lake. As investigators moved along the swath of destruction,
...they began finding smashed and dead chicks. They found a total 1,458 nests and 2,400 eggs and chicks had been destroyed. Only one chick was still alive.
The farmer who admitted committing this outrageous act, attempted to excuse his actions by claiming financial loss to his crops (including "potential earnings") over several years, and by stating that  "their droppings had ruined the soil."  

Here is a man, professing to be a "farmer", who imagines that pelican droppings did more to ruin the soil than his own practices on the land. What does he know of the effects of the drain tiles under his land, of ammonia injections into his soil, of the hardpan accreting beneath his equipment? How much marsh was destroyed to enable his plantings of corn and soybeans? Where is the nutrient processing occurring for the excess nitrogen and phosphorus deposited on his land by the pelicans and his own equipment, or that of his tenants? How does his imagined $20,000 loss compare to the loss of livelihoods among fishermen created by the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico?

Trout fishers will recognize the parallels between the practices and knowledge of environmental effects exhibited by one ignorant farmer in Faribault County, Minnesota, and others who plant corn and soybeans on the thinnest of topsoils in the karst region of the upper midwest. Who will accept responsibility for what humans do to the soil, water, atmosphere and biota of the earth?

If anyone in your presence expresses doubt about the possible global effects of human activity, as has been common during the past decade in regard to global warming, you have an opportunity to help him/her to abate their own ignorance. Simply send them to a well-researched article on "global dimming", or, point out the increase in seismic disturbance frequently recorded near recently filled reservoirs, or the desertification of the Aral Sea in mid-continental Asia.

Not all the barbarians are at the gate. Some are living amongst us.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Followed My Dream

The passing of Steve Jobs yesterday revived my interest in understanding the importance of what we choose to do for a living. I think Steve said it very well in his address to the Stanford graduating class in 2005. Entitled "You've Got to Find What You Love", he implored the class,  on the occasion of their commencement into their working lives, " find what you love."
You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
I was sixteen and already knew that I loved to fish. I knew there were game wardens and fish hatcheries, but until I met Tom Richardson, I didn't know that there was a profession of fisheries biology.

My buddy and I discovered Tom tending a fish trap in Chico Creek following an effort by the California Dept. of Fish and Game to rehabilitate the steelhead run. Over the next few weeks, Tom put up with a couple of teenagers following him relentlessly to find out more about fisheries biology.  Two years later, my buddy and I enrolled in Humboldt State College to pursue bachelor's degrees in fisheries.

It didn't take two years to make this decision. I doubt that it took more than two weeks. If this looks like "love at first sight" it certainly was. It would provide the basis twenty years later for advising academically frustrated students to follow their hearts in selecting a major course of study at the university.

Steve Jobs was right. If you haven't found what you want to do, keep looking. Don't settle. Don't settle.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Swallow This!

The hunter is the "alert man" according to Jose Ortega y Gasset, author-philosopher whose "Meditations on Hunting" has become the de facto standard to explain the intrinsic human instinct to hunt. This applies, of course, to the aquatic hunter, or fisher, who is constantly seeking cues to the activity and whereabouts of her/his quarry. 

The question arises, alert to what? Alert to anything;  especially, able to think clearly; intellectually active. And so, when I emerged from the house one mid-May morning and saw the swallows swarming over the river, I suspected that a hatch was on.
While the swallows were visible enough, their prey was not. Nor was there a conspicuous cloud or swarm of insects over the river. I concluded that the swallows were feeding on very small insects, perhaps midge-sizes, certainly not mayflies larger than tricos.  

I seldom carry an insect net afield when I am fishing, but I often swipe my hat at nearby flying insects, to see first-hand what they are, or, at least, how big and what color they are.  Skittering insects on the surface of the water frequently indicate egg-laying is in progress. Empty shucks (exoskeletons) of insects attached to plant stems at riverside are further indicators of what kind of trout food is present, or, recently risen.

Just as the hunter is attuned to the squawk of crows or ravens, sometimes heralding the approach of ground-roving creatures, so too does the fisher remain alert to the actions of birds and other riparian indicators of trout food in the making.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lampreys Suck; and, so does the Budget

We seldom have better evidence of the perils of eating the seed corn than appears in the continuing resolution budget. Last March, in the congressional frenzy to appease the 'baggers while trying to appear responsible in allowing the gov'mint to stay open for business, both the White House and congressional "leaders" recommended spending cuts of 15-20 per cent for the Great Lakes lamprey control program. A reduced lamprey control budget penalizes the scientists and fisheries managers of the international control agencies for one of the most cost-effective, ingenious and diverse integrated pest control programs anywhere in the world, and it threatens to set back by decades the rehabilitation of lake trout, whitefish and the coldwater fish community of the upper Great Lakes. Not to mention reneging on an international agreement with Canada.
The unparalleled effectiveness of the lamprey control program hinges upon control strategies that exploit the unique life history of sea lampreys. These exotic invaders gained access to the upper Great Lakes following the 1935 expansion of the Welland Canal, enlarged to allow maritime shipping to bypass Niagara Falls in eastern Lake Erie.

Ammocoete larva, bottom; transformer, middle;
car keys for size comparison, top.
A female lamprey will spawn with an individual male by depositing eggs in gravel nests in large and small streams tributary to the Great Lakes. Like Pacific Salmon, sea lampreys spawn only once in their lifetime, and then die. The eggs hatch into larvae known as ammocoetes which form burrows in the fine sediments in the bottom of the stream. There, they filter water through their gills, extracting fine particles of detritus and algae, and grow, over a period of several years, to a size of about 120mm. Soon after attaining this size threshold, the ammocoetes undergo a morphological transformation in which they form a true "camera" eye, develop a sucking mouth with a rasp-like tongue, and dorsal fin and tail. The transformed larvae now migrate downstream and begin a parasitic life in which they attach to fish, rasp a hole in the skin and suck the bodily fluids out of the fish.

Fresh lamprey mark on Great Lakes coho salmon.
Parasitologists have known lampreys for years as "parasites", because they don't often kill their host fish in their natural marine environment. But, in the Great Lakes, the lampreys frequently do kill their host if the fish they attach to is small relative to the rate at which lampreys suck out their fluids. Great Lakes sea lampreys are easily capable of killing a 2-pound trout, burbot, or whitefish during a single feeding attack. After feeding for 14-18 months, the lampreys migrate to a stream to spawn and die. A single lamprey will kill an estimated 40-50 lbs. of fish during its "parasitic" stage.

The life history segment when ammocoete larvae are living in streams is their "Achilles heel" ably exploited by the lamprey control program. Because it usually takes at least 3 years to grow to a size large enough to "transform" into a parasitic stage lamprey, the streams occupied by ammocoetes need to be treated to kill these larval lampreys only once every 3 years, or even less frequently if the larvae are growing more slowly. A single treatment with a selective toxicant, TFM, can then remove several year-classes of lampreys at once, making the control program one of the most effective fishery management programs anywhere in North America. In combination with low-head barrier dams, sterile-male release programs, selective-release toxicants for lake bottom application, and pheromone attractants to lure mature lampreys into fish traps, the sea lamprey control program has gradually allowed the restoration of the cold-water fisheries of the upper Great Lakes.

It took more than 30 years of intensive stocking and lamprey control to begin to see the rehabilitation of naturally self-sustaining stocks of lake trout in Lake Superior. Lake Huron is only just beginning to show lake trout year-classes produced by natural spawning, and Lake Michigan is still lagging behind in natural reproduction of lake trout. Meanwhile, the steelhead, salmon and whitefish have also benefitted greatly from the lamprey control program. A cut-back in funding now will have very far-reaching consequences in continuing to restore these lakes to fishable self-reproducing populations.

The upper lakes fishery is estimated to be worth from 8-12 billion dollars in annual economic activity. At current budget levels of about $20 million, the sea lamprey control activity generates a $200 return for every dollar spent. That's approximately the cost of one Apache attack helicopter, as used in last Sunday's raid against Osama Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
There is no reason not to invest just a little more in higher taxes rather than accept long-term damage to one of the nation's greatest fishery resources.
Cross-posted to the Renaissance Post

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Hatch at Last!

I heard them even before I could see the river. Splash! Kerplunk! Whoosh!

We've waited patiently(?) through a turbulent spring season, seeing some light hatches of Blue-Winged Olives, even a thin midge hatch, but the night before last was too good to miss.

I had anticipated a trial of a new (to me) pattern that I call a flashy burger, a hybrid between a woolly bugger and a slump buster. I tie it with a brass or black cone head in olive, black, or dark brown on size 8 and larger hooks. Think of a woolly bugger wrapped over by a sparse, dark, flashabou hackle. But, I simply had to tie on a large (#12) elk hair caddis when I saw the surface just popping with fish.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Renewing the Flow

The snow has finally gone, melting into the dormant grass, soil, rock crevices; now dripping off the bluffs, forming rivulets in the ditches; and, in turn, joining together with other trickles to form the brook, then the stream, then the river coursing to the sea.  Snowmelt also seeps and flows within the surface of the earth, moving slowly or imperceptibly in clays, more rapidly in gravels, loess, and alluvium until reaching impervious boundaries of bedrock. There, it hesitates until the hydraulic pressures from above move it to the surface where it bubbles forth in springs or seeps, flowing freely once again with other surface waters. Hydrogeologists call this an exorheic system in which detectable flows exit the watershed by drainage to other bodies of water.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anthology: Sacramento River

This article is the first of an intermittent multi-part series to compare, contrast, and describe selected rivers and trout habitats. "Trout" will be interpreted liberally to mean members of the family "Salmonidae" including those with subterminal mouths and gaudy dorsal fins. Habitats will also be treated liberally to include lentic and lotic, natural and artificial. Readers are encouraged to add their own experiences to this chronicle, both by original articles, and by commentary.

On an early fall trip to northern California, we had the pleasure of visiting the streamcourse of the mighty Sacramento River. Draining the high altitude lava fields of northeastern California at the southern edge of the Cascade range, the Sacramento originates with the Pit and McCloud Rivers and flows about 350 miles to the San Francisco Bay delta. Even though it traverses rich agricultural lands, it holds clear water most of the year, with transparencies measured in meters over at least 75% of its course.  We never see water clarity of that kind in the large rivers of the midwest and eastern US, so it is reasonable to ask what are the differences in the origins of silt loads and turbidity between these systems.

Our analysis boils down to only three critical environmental features: flow rate, bedrock characteristics, and soil overburden.

Episodic flows occur only with winter rains and spring snowmelt. Most of the flowage comes from the windward (western) slope of the Sierras and Cascades as the Coast Range provides a rain shadow over the valley. Flow rates in the upper river are further moderated by temporary holding of headwaters in Shasta Lake for hydroelectric power generation and release later in the season.

Bedrock in the upper reaches is basalt or insoluble lava or other igneous rock, leading to very low mineral concentrations in runoff and very poor biological productivity. High gradient tributaries flowing in from the Sierras also drain insoluble granitic bedrock. Percolation is rapid from surface into groundwater aquifers through fractures and lava flow boundaries, including numerous lava tubes.

In this remarkable photo of McArthur-Burney Falls on the Fall River, we see significant flows emerging from the face of the lava wall over which the bulk of the water falls. The subterranean channels whose termini we can see at the falls form a groundwater network of great extent under the lava fields surrounding Mount Shasta.

Soil overburden is generally thin in upper reaches and held in place by evergreen forest and perennial shrubs. High altitude meadows are generally unsuitable for tillage but may support low intensity grazing on perennial grasses. Soil integrity in mountainous areas has been disturbed only by fire, clear-cut deforestation, recently being replaced by more selective logging practices, and hydraulic mining scars left over from the Nineteenth Century.

In the arid high elevations, and in the foothills below the Sierra-Cascade crest down to the Sacramento valley floor, the dominant vegetation is a drought-tolerant assemblage of oaks and evergreens interspersed in vast expanses of chaparral. Significant species of shrubs include rabbit brush, manzanita and buckthorn so entangled as to make foot passage nearly impossible in river canyons.  The density of this vegetation in the Mill Creek and Deer Creek canyons is credited with hiding the existence of Ishi, last of the California Yahi Indians, for fully 40 years in the closing decades of the Nineteenth Century.

From Redding down to the Bay Area delta, the river flows through some of the richest agricultural soils in the world. The gravels underlying modern valley soils are glacial outwash deposits no more recent than the Tioga glacial recession of about 15,000 years ago. The soils themselves are deposits of glacial fines accruing organic matter annually from vegetation cycling.  Agriculture today is mostly stone fruit and nut tree orchards with replacement schedules of decades. In the lower valley, intensive rice culture with controlled flow paddies dominates annual plantings. Further diversion of Sacramento River flows for irrigation and domestic water supplies severely limit late-season fish migration opportunities both upstream and down.

The result of all this is that high sediment loads in the Sacramento river occur only during winter flooding when flows are sufficient to scour riparian surfaces and re-suspend sediments previously deposited in the river valley. For trout and salmon, headwater habitats remain viable but the great mainstem migrations of salmon and steelhead are now gone or mere shadows of those a century ago. Severe water quality problems for over half a century in the San Francisco Bay area, combined with inadequate upstream fish passage and insufficient flows to deliver smolts to the marine environment, make the prospects grim for the remaining threatened and endangered salmonids.

One exception is the near-heroic attempt to protect and sustain the Butte Creek spring run chinook salmon.  Only time will tell if the recent management efforts and habitat restoration programs in the Sacramento River basin will be sufficient to rebuild and restore some elements of the once-great salmon and steelhead runs in the north central valley.

Prominent trout streams in the Sacramento River watershed:  McCloud R., Fall R., Hat Cr., Pit R., Deer Cr., Butte Cr., Feather R., Yuba R., American R., Sacramento R.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Springing

Our snow is gone except for the roadside ditches compacted by snow machines and shady wind drifts under towering banks and bluffs. It surely was a winter that came early, stayed late and caused area residents to wonder if they, too, had stayed too long. While challenging in some respects, our changing seasons are also among the wonders that annually renew themselves and our spirits. As mid-day shadows shorten, annual bird lists lengthen until once again the robins, grackles, crows and house sparrows assume their common places sprinkled with the chimes and warble of bunting, bobolink, oriole, and crane.

Curious about the flow of CamelCreek, I took the country road behind the village, over the ridge and down past the tree where, several years ago, my friend pointed out the only dickcissel that I have ever identified. At the bridge, the water was at least a foot above early summer flow, and discolored; about the maximum turbidity that trout could tolerate in following a brass spinner.
Proceeding up the creek, the dog thrust her nose into every receding snowbank, professing great interest in things that I could not see, hear or smell. The icicle stalactites, mere shadows of their bulk a month ago, but still hanging like dragons' teeth from ledges of limestone revealing the terminus of lateral aquifers on strata below the crest of the bluff.

A peripheral movement a hundred yards ahead, flash of tawny fur, pricked ears, tail full and horizontal as he glided silently over the old iron bridge.  He stopped broadside and watched us for a moment, the dog's nose buried in a snowbound burrow, my concentration on him as I fumbled for the camera in my pocket. Then, unhurried, he ascended the farm road to the west. The dog and I proceeded to the road where she suddenly lifted her nose and charged ahead to the full extent of her leash, straining to hold the lingering scent. I anchored her to a sturdy oak, found his prints in the snowmelt mud and recorded the track for later assurance that this was not a ghost or shadow, but a coyote, as we were, out to savor a fine spring day.

Cross-posted to The Renaissance Post

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spending Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Funds

The recent introduction of House File 1073 in the Minnesota legislature raises the spectre of decreasing citizen involvement in decisions about how to spend revenues generated by two amendments to the Constitution of the State of Minnesota. Among the measures proposed are establishing a Legislative Environment Commission; eliminating the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, the Clean Water Council, and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources; and eliminating the water system improvement loan program.

This is a perfect example of an attempt to fix something that has not yet broken. No justification for these changes has been offered by the co-authors of this bill, nor has there been any statement of dissatisfaction with how the existing councils conduct their business. Proponents of this bill have not addressed how the members of the proposed "Legislative Environment Commission" will be soliciting expert advice to guide their recommendations to the legislature. This is surprising since one of the main reasons for replacing the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCMR) with its more recent incarnation, the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), was to relieve the embarrassment of having poorly chosen funding proposals decided on a purely political basis, rather than by rigorous technical review of the merits of proposals. The conditions of appointment of citizen advisors to the LCCMR are clearly spelled out in the enabling legislation:
Per M.S. 116P. 05 as amended ML 2006 Chapter 243. (1) Have experience or expertise in the science, policy, or practice of the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources; (2) have strong knowledge in the state's environment and natural resource issues around the state...
Proponents of the new bill argue that this "streamlines" government in Minnesota by simply requiring legislators to make the decisions they were elected to make. This specious argument simply avoids acknowledging that the LCCMR and the other citizen-legislative councils, act only in an advisory capacity to the legislature, thus, the legislators still make all final funding decisions. And, they need to be held accountable for their votes, especially when they fly in the face of informed opinion.

In the headlong nationwide rush to "make government more efficient" we are preparing to throw the baby out with the bath water. We are demonizing unions and civil servants because they have legally negotiated contracts that provide a living wage for essential services. We have reinforced claims of government inefficiency by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein agency workloads are increased beyond the capacity of existing staff while positions authorized but vacated by retirement, deaths and resignations remain unfilled.

More and more these government efficiency pronouncements are being exposed as fa├žades to cover a philosophy of "don't confuse me with the facts", cronyism, anti-intellectualism, and irrational legislation. By the refusal of elected officials to acknowledge the real costs of responsible governance, state agencies have been strangled and educational systems have been financed on the backs of an alcohol and gaming-addicted public, while the infrastructure essential to a prosperous business environment crumbles around us. Mystical mantras such as "no new taxes" and "invisible hands" are merely smoke and mirrors that substitute for carefully considered planning and legislation.

Surely, Minnesota, its citizens, and its natural resources deserve better.

Cross-posted to The Renaissance Post

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pink Squirrels and Golden Retrievers

Both have demonstrated their character in yesterday's foray to CamelCreek in quest of the wily winter trout.  We're not talking about cocktail recipes here, rather, a history of results for a well-known and variously tied trout fly.

Dawns a perfect winter fishing day: air temperatures hovering around 38°F while the water, revealing some snowmelt, was just a trifle off-color, with temps of 43°F.

Long known to Driftless Area fishermen, the Pink Squirrel, first tied by Wisconsin fly fisher John Bethke, has proven itself time after time as a reliable "attractor" nymph pattern.  No one really knows why attractor patterns attract fish since they don't imitate any known species or life stages of particular aquatic organisms. But, attract fish, they certainly do, indiscriminately duping browns and rainbows alike, in summer and winter, testifying to their appetites for squirrels or dogs.

The original tying recipe has been modified innumerable times with variations in the dubbing and collar. All seem to work, but the fox squirrel dubbing and pink chenille may challenge the fly tyer's supply house.  Yarn in colors from cream through pink to fluorescent orange will suffice for the collar, but a variation on the fur dubbing has also proven effective by my good friend and master rod builder, Dave Norling, of Minneapolis.

Dave, who breeds and trains golden retrievers (who also attend his fishing forays), ties his pink squirrels with a masterful blend of fibers salvaged from his own genetic line of loyal, faithful, true, and golden retrievers. Just as Whiting hackle attests to the value of prudent breeding in producing chicken necks, so do the photos here attest to Dave's perspicacity in dog breeding and fly tying.

So, the next time I'm out on CamelCreek or some other incarnation of karst geological drainage, perhaps it would be appropriate to raise a toast to John, Dave, trout, pink squirrels, and a continuing line of Rough (Ruff), Ready (Reddy), and all the rest--with a Pink Squirrel, of course!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Temperature Dropping

Beautiful sunny day in the driftless region of the midwest. Air temps from 10-20°F over the region at mid-day. Fishing was non-productive for me, but larger streams are producing some nice browns for other folk.  Lots of snow still on the ground but some melting obvious on south-facing slopes. Stream temperature was 43°F at 3 pm on a small tributary to the Root River near Preston, MN. This is down about 3° from last week, and the creeks, while still clear, are running about double the volumes of last week as snow melt trickles in. Expecting another major storm before next Tuesday. Stay tuned!  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter Reading

Tovar Cerulli over at the Mindful Carnivore website has posted a very rich reading list that will likely appeal to most hunters and fishermen that I have known. Common to many of us is the realization that we "have always known" that we were fishers or hunters in some innermost way, but it has often been difficult to express this knowing to others, and, especially to ourselves.

Cerulli's book list begins and ends with two of my personal favorites. A Hunter's Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sportby David Petersen and Richard K. Nelson, is an eclectic assemblage of reflections on the hunt.  Many essays in this set will leave the reader wondering how the hunting experience can mean so many different things to hunters. The complexity of meanings undoubtedly testifies to the centrality of this practice to humans in all walks of life, including those who refuse to acknowledge it. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine for Minnesota's Natural Resources

Acting swiftly in his new capacity as Commissioner of Natural Resources, Tom Landwehr has assembled a remarkable team of assistants and resource management professionals to lead the state in responsible stewardship of Minnesota's natural resources.
Pictured left - right: Ed Boggess, Fish & Wildlife Division director; David Epperly, Forestry Division director;Bob Lessard, special assistant to the commissioner; Tom Landwehr, commissioner; Larry Kramka, Lands and Minerals Division director; Elaine Johnson, Management Resources administrator; Denise Legato, Human Resources administrator; Denise Anderson, Office of Management & Budget administrator; Marty Vadis, Lands & Minerals division director (retiring); Col. Jim Konrad, Enforcement Division director; Laurie Martinson, Operations Services director; Steve Hirsch, Ecological and Water Resources director; Mary McConnell, assistant commissioner for legal and government affairs; Keith Parker, Central Region director;Erika Rivers, assistant commissioner for customer relations; Dennis Frederickson, Southern Region director; Chris Niskanen, communications director; Bob Meier, special assistant to the commissioner for legislative affairs; Dave Schad, deputy commissioner; Kent Lokkesmoe, capital investments director;Courtland Nelson, Parks & Trails Division director. (Not pictured: Craig Engwall, northeast regional director and Mike Carroll, assistant commissioner for field operations.)

Minnesota has long enjoyed one of the most progressive of the natural resource departments and conservation agencies in the country. Our civil service has been populated with some of the best-trained and most effective managers in charge of the widest diversity of land, forest, fish and wildlife resources anywhere in the nation.  Their approach has been based upon sound science and best practices management techniques that have resulted in the finest and most accessible network of trails, waterways, forests and parks anywhere in the nation.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Catch, but, Release?

Posted on Renaissance Post in early January, this essay has been modified to ask if the "catch and release" philosophy is yet another form of denial of being human.

We Are All Killers
A stark truth to a modern mind, unfettered by the need to stun, choke, hook, net, skewer, drown or trap other denizens of the planet. True, nevertheless. Some still say that others can do the killing. What, exactly do they mean? How is it preferable to depend upon others to take the lives that sustain you? Does this slaughtering place those who conduct it on a moral platform above or beneath our own? How dare we seek to assign such a judgment!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Fallout of Global Warming

Today, we return to the commentary about climate that we started last December. There (archives, Dec. 2010) we noted unusual precipitation in the continental US just before Christmas. To complete the picture globally, we have only to reflect upon the news and weather reported from all over the world during the past year. Beginning with lowland flooding in the British Isles and across Europe during the fall and winter of 2009, torrential rains in the Spring of 2010 in China, followed by intensification of monsoons in Pakistan and southern Asia, an Austral summer of record-setting rains and flooding in Northeastern Australia, and massive floods in Brazil, we have witnessed an entirely unprecedented increase in severity and frequency of precipitation events world-wide.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's About Tyme!

Rejecting the patronage of the last two gubernatorial administrations, Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, today appointed Tom Landwehr to the vital post of Commissioner of Natural Resources.