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Talking it over: Be a good steward

The news in recent weeks, and over the last several years, has been getting more and more disturbing. Not just the murders, national disasters or political issues, but some of the once in a lifetime things that are happening more and more often. I am talking about the major floods, huge fires, landslides, water shortages and in recent weeks, water contamination.

In our area, the floods that used to happen only once every 100 years, are starting to occur more regularly. The big fires in the southwest part of the country are almost happening yearly. Global warming is starting to affect many areas of the world. Scientists have been warning us for years about what could happen and to some extent, we have not listened to these warnings.

I often wonder what we could do to help save our land, water, air and animals. We have a lot of government regulations already that most of us follow very carefully in order to help preserve our natural resources. But the very fact that we have to follow these regulations probably means that we are planning to do something that could affect the resources around us. Maybe we should think twice about doing some of these things.

When my husband and I decided to build our home on what was once my dad’s pasture next to the lake, we looked into many of the regulations. We carefully followed all the guidelines when it came to the sewer system, wells, natural sloughs and wetlands. We considered clearing off the lake shore in order for it to look more  appealing but after a recommendation regarding erosion, we decided to leave the natural grasses grow there in order to protect the soil.

We are strong advocates for our lake and try to read labels when it comes to the products we put on our grass and gardens. All these things can eventually end up in the water table and affect the lakes and rivers around us. We have planted a buffer area near the wetlands behind us and try to prevent too many weeds from strangling out the trees and bushes planted there. At times it is sad to see the large amount of drainage of our crucial wetlands, even the small potholes in fields. We have learned that many of these wetlands are filters for our lakes and rivers.

We hear a lot about stewardship, especially in our churches, but we are not only financial stewards. We are also stewards of the land and we are responsible for the care of the resources we have been given to use, not use up. Future generations are relying on us to be careful stewards in order for them to have the same opportunities that we have. The same beautiful and bountiful lakes, prairies and oceans. The clear drinking water and luscious forests. Lots of natural food and minerals to supply our needs.

We are all, not just farmers, responsible for the land and resources around us. For the future of our children and grandchildren we need to think before we act when it comes to natural resources and plan before we proceed. I for one, would like to see future generations enjoy the same beautiful world that we are priviledged to live in today.