Re: Resurvey of Minnesota River Basin Vegetation (fwd)
Rich Molini (email@example.com)
Sun, 31 Jan 1999 12:15:18 +0000
Just thought I'd get a little earth spiritual here since it's Sunday
morning and I don't engage in organized religion.
LL's relayed post got me thinking about those floods up in Minnesota
along the Red River and how I feel that agribusiness( I lump all
conventional ag farmers as well as corporate "sharks" in this "boat")
really get off the "hook" on this one.
In the Midwest, I would imagine that over 90% of a watershed is
agricultural. So when you talk about flooding you really talking about
the inability of the earth surface to retain or at least temporarily
capture that precipitation, and that 90% or so appears to have a large
contribution. I remember reading about some trials conducted in the
early spring where a vegetated pasture slope and a control slope which
happened to be a no-till bean field were subjected to artificial rain
for 24 hours (.5 inch /hr , 12 total). The control slope offered 11
inches of runoff while the pastured runoff was almost not measurable
something like .01 inch.
When I watched the news and saw those cities and towns in MN, I thought
wouldn't it be nice if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
would have a press conference and say " As you may or may not know, we
have been giving agribusiness a free ride for quite some time now, but
in order to pay for the hundreds of million of dollars in damage up here
the price of a loaf of bread in the entire USA would have to be raised
to $6, the price of a gallon of milk would have to be raised to $12 (
and so on) at least for a few months to cover the costs. We will inform
you when the cost level has been reached and if there are no other
agribusiness related floods in the interim, the price will be lowered
again. Of course, if research staff finds any more emergencies that are
agribiz related then we will have to re-evaluate. FEMA will also refer
this to the EPA and the Coast Guard because those agencies feel there
might be some additional damage factors to include. Also the Flood
Insurance Bureau thinks it may have some cost related to revising all
their flood insurance maps.
Thank you! Any Questions?"
I commend the grad student for looking for BMPs for floodplain
management, but that myopia is traditional for universities. Purdue
here in Indiana supposedly has one of the best programs in watershed
management with tons of PhDed instructors and gobs of research projects,
unfortunately they also have a corporate partnership with Monsanto.
2419 East 281st Street
Atlanta, Indiana 46031 Phone and Fax 317-984-9600
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