Letters From Readers

Mowing practices damage monarch habitat

to the editor
I miss living in North Branch by about 1/4 mile, but since we recently purchased a building for our business in the Industrial Park, I drive the short distance on 360th St between Grand and Forest Boulevard at least twice a day, often more. All spring and summer I have happily watched more milkweed growing wild in the ditches than I’ve ever seen before. On July 3, I was excited to see it blooming. On July 4, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach as I saw it all lying on the grown having been mowed, I assume by the city. Milkweed is the only thing that monarch butterflies eat. Their numbers have dwindled over the past two decades over 90 percent from what they once were. The growing population of people will never allow for the prairies we once had, which is all the more reason to preserve and nurture what we do have. After the second generation of monarchs emerges in late June, July is prime time for mating season and growing the population with Minnesota milkweed. …They couldn’t have picked a worse time to do this. It happened not only on 360th but likely everywhere the city has maintenance responsibility. A friend who lives east of town reported the same thing. After she saw one side of her road mowed late one afternoon, she called the city to ask them not to mow the other side but in the morning that’s exactly what they did. I understand there is a local group that is looking to make North Branch the monarch capital of Minnesota. It surely won’t happen if mowing practices continue. I understand the necessity for mowing back tall grass in the fall to help with winter plowing, but there is no reason I can see to do it now. None of the area in question was obscuring any views of the road/corners. I would like to suggest the money needed to mow down pollinator habitat be used for more frequent blading.

Martha (Marty) Glanville
North Branch

Nolan reaches across the aisle

to the editor
Congressman Rick Nolan is to be commended for his understanding of the fact to fix things and get things done in Congress for the residents of the Minnesota 8th Congressional District he needs to reach across the aisle in a bi-partisan way to work with Republicans and with everybody. That’s why he was named in a national study as one of the ten most effective members of Congress — that’s out of 435 congressmen!
This is why recently he brought three powerful republican colleagues to Minnesota’s Iron Range to see first-hand our mining operations and the need to create good paying jobs in 21st Century mining. Also to show them how important it is to protect the environment, that at the same time they need to support tough, rigorous and sound regulations to protect the environment as we create these good paying jobs. Congressman Nolan believes we can do both.
It’s the same bi-partisanship effort he was successful in saving billions of dollars of proposed cuts to retired Teamsters in the Central States Pension Fund. He works hard to protect Social Security, Medicare and pension’s people have worked hard their whole lives for.
I’m a retired Teamster and have benefited from Congressman Nolan’s efforts to protect our pension now and seek long term solutions for the future solvency of it. I’m grateful for his efforts in this area and his leadership in finding a balance that protects the environment and allows mining minerals with state of the art technology.

Gerald Spencer
North Branch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *