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Trouble in the Big Woods


Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
Posted in

Residents and officials look for solutionsBy Nancy OvercottMonday, October 16, 2000

"It's a fright. Just look at the ruts they've made here by going through when it's too muddy. I like to bring my horse and buggy down this trail and with these ruts it makes for a pretty rough ride."

These are the words of Walter Norby as quoted in Al Mathison's "After Chores" (Journal, September 18, 2000). Norby, who has lived in or near the Big Woods in eastern Fillmore County almost eighty years, is complaining about ATV's (four-wheel-drive trucks, four-wheelers and dirt bikes) and the ruts they make on Big Woods trails, especially the trail leading down to Wisel Creek.

In a letter to the editor (Journal, September 25, 2000), Deb and Larry Topness write about "the disgraceful things that have been happening these past few years to our dear old Big Woods." They are complaining about ATV damage to the old Shattuck Creek/Cabbage Rocks minimum maintenance road and trails.

This area is dear to me also. I first visited it to look for birds with Dr. Alden Risser of Stewartville on May 14,1988. Risser, who has since passed away, was a highly acclaimed Minnesota bird enthusiast and mentor to many young birdwatchers. The Cabbage Rocks area was his favorite wild place. We saw seventy-four species of birds that day.

The Topness letter also complains about over-hunting, over-fishing and people driving on neighbors' fields while shining deer: "I walked in the woods just last weekend and heard nary a sound of a bird, a squirrel or a deer . . .let alone seeing a fish in the stream!"

Not long after Topness spoke with some of the recreationists and hunters, someone shot a window out of his pickup. Fear of reprisal and an age-old mistrust of government makes Big Woods people reluctant to complain, Topness says. He believes people who live outside of Fillmore County are doing most of the damage. He has talked with ATV people from Waukon, Decorah, Minneapolis, Albert Lea and Austin.

He believes the excessive taking of wildlife and fish is being done mostly by people who have recently immigrated to this country and may not fully understand our hunting, fishing and trespassing laws. Unfortunately, a few of these people are deliberately breaking the laws, thus giving a bad name to all the recent immigrants.

Much of the land in the Big Woods is in small parcels, so there are many landowners. Some of the land belongs .....
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Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables

Board resists York Township claim

Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, October 16, 2000

With Chairman Gary Peterson back at the helm, the Fillmore County Board engaged in another lengthy round of "to pay or not to pay," at its weekly meeting last Tuesday. This time the fracas was with York Township offic ..... 
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Bergey Family Farms reach "turning point"

Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
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$8 hogs inspire new ventureBy Wayne PikeMonday, October 16, 2000

Jerry and Jodi Bergey of rural Lanesboro have been farming long enough to have seen lots of changes in the pork industry. Jerry grew up on the farm that he ..... 
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Candidate forum:

Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
Posted in

District One CommissionerBy Al MathisonMonday, October 16, 2000

On November 7, the voters in District One, (Arendahl, Rushford, Holt and Norway townships) will elect a commissioner to serve on the Fillmore County Board. T ..... 
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Dad

Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, September 11, 2000

Last week while tending my booth at the Minnesota State Fair I got the call Iíve always dreaded. "Sit down," my brother Derald said softly. "Dad died just a little while ago."

Waves of emotion. Deep sighs. Ti ..... 
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End of the Season

Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
Posted in

By Virginia CooperMonday, October 2, 2000

Itís been a great gardening year, a little wet for a while, but still quite beautiful when we count our successes and not our failures. This is my last column for the season. I hope everyone has lear ..... 
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This work is not for the birds

Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
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Monday, September 4, 2000

I stand on the roof of our workshop holding the end of a rope. My husband has tied the opposite end around his waist so he doesn't slip as he hammers nails into our new metal roofing. Although I am alert to the danger ..... 
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Just a Juicy Little Tidbit

Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, October 16, 2000

"Whatís this?" One of the two teenaged boys impatiently thrusts an open plastic margarine tub in my face. "We found it out in the woods just lying on the ground coming back from our tree stands." At the bottom of their ..... 
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Recently released Minnesota books

Sun, Oct 15th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, October 16, 2000

Last month I attended the annual convention of the Upper Midwest Bookseller Association in downtown St. Paul, a gathering of authors, publishers and independent booksellers.

I was impressed, as I was last year, ..... 
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