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Letter to the editor

To the editor:

I was astonished to read State Rep. Jeff Backer's recent letter characterizing the timely implementation of the new buffer law as "an impractical if not impossible goal." The Clean Water Act was passed 45 years ago in 1972. The act required states to make a list of impaired waters, establish a priority list and develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for these waters. A TMDL is an indicator of the maximum amount of a pollutant that can be released into a body of water without impairing the water body. Buffer strips were identified 45 years ago as a Best Management Practice for improving our water quality. There is nothing "impractical" or "impossible" about buffer strips. Indeed, many Minnesota farmers already voluntarily comply with the Clean Water Act's buffer strip recommendations.

I think we all can agree that farmers do not purposefully attempt to impair the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams. However, I would hope that we could all also agree that many farmers in the area are resistant to using Best Management Practices such as buffer strips to the detriment of the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams.

The notion that private property rights somehow trump using Best Management Practices to protect the water upon which we are all dependant, puzzles me. We'll reap what we sow. Continued resistance to the timely implementation of buffer strips will only further degrade the health of our Earth Mother, ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

James Moore