"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Monday, July 27th, 2015
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
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What’s happening on our hills?


Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been working on the bluffs around Rushford for many years. With the recent restoration effort on the bluff off Money Creek Road, and addition of goats to our other bluffs, there have been rumors about why this is happening. Some are saying the DNR is improving rattlesnake habitat, and some believe the DNR is moving in more rattlesnakes to these sites. What is really happening?

According to Jaime Edwards, the DNR Nongame Wildlife Specialist who is overseeing this work, the DNR is not releasing more rattlesnakes at any sites in Minn. The bluffs around Rushford and many other areas in SE MN already have timber rattlesnakes. Populations are not as high as they were historically, but several sites still have relatively healthy populations remaining. The DNR is not adding snakes to these sites to augment the snake population. In fact, part of the effort in restoring the bluffs around Rushford and other areas in SE MN is to reduce snake-human encounters. “Our goal is to reduce snake-human encounters by restoring habitat in areas where rattlesnakes are present,” said Jaime Edwards. The habitat restoration does benefit timber rattlesnakes, but it also benefits many other rare and/or declining animals and plants. “The bluffs around Rushford are a natural resource treasure, having many high quality prairies on them. Surveys in the early 1990s found an outstanding level of plant and animal diversity on these sites compared to similar sites around the state,” she said. In recent years, the quality of these prairies has been compromised by the rapid increase in cedar trees as well as invasive species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle, and Japanese barberry. The DNR has been working to restore these sites to conditions similar to what they were in the 1950s, which old aerial photos show had little cedar encroachment. The habitat work will benefit timber rattlesnakes, since they like open south and west facing bluffs for sunning and denning. As the bluffs close in from tree and brush growth, rattlesnakes tend to move off to surrounding open areas, which in Rushford is often someone’s back yard. By restoring the bluff prairies to a more open condition, snakes will stay on them longer, thereby reducing snake-human encounters. This isn’t fool proof, as Jaime indicates, because rattlesnakes do forage in the woods, and as the summer heats up, they move to cooler areas. Peak snake-human encounters typica .....
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One Moment, Please... Race Relations

Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

What does the Confederate Flag represent to you? That’s the question we posed in last week’s reader poll. Is it a part of American history? Does it relate to slavery and racism? Is it a symbol of freedom? Has this whole thing been blown ..... 
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Contemplating death

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

First there are birthday parties. Then come graduations and weddings followed by baby showers. Now I find funerals crowd my calendar. Death is a shadow that hovers over us, now and then blocking out the sun. I am not good at coping with death. ..... 
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On a clear day I can seethe forever

Mon, Jul 20th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Commuting is a way of life for folks in Southeastern Minnesota: whether it’s five miles or fifty, most of us drive to work. Now, as someone who spent his college years in Chicagoland, I can tell you that a fifty minute commute here in Bluff Countr ..... 
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A bad idea, retention elections for supremes

Mon, Jul 13th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Two back to back controversial rulings of the United States Supreme Court in late June sent some conservatives into a tizzy. The court by a 6-3 decision upheld subsidies for the Affordable Care Act and the next day in a 5-4 decision same-sex marriag ..... 
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School board member Thomas Trehus to run for House in District 28B

Mon, Jul 13th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

By Thomas Trehus Education, transportation, and property tax relief top issues for Trehus. . . Thomas Trehus, Spring Grove school board member and fifth generation Houston County resident will run for the Minnesota House of Representatives in Dist ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Scholarships, never too early

Mon, Jul 6th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

In today’s issue of the Fillmore County Journal, you’ll see a name you’ve seen in this newspaper before. Alexis Jorgenson, a graduate of Lanesboro High School, has been selected as the recipient of the Fillmore County Journal scholarship. Si ..... 
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Keeping Houston County informed and involved

By Justin Zmyewski

Mon, Jul 6th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Is public input a part of Houston County decision making, you decide… Provided it is done well, public participation leads to better decisions and in my opinion the Houston County Board of Commissioners should view it as valuable to their mission ..... 
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Minimum wage argument

By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Mon, Jun 29th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Minimum wage proponent’s arguments are in fact hope over reality, sentiment and compassion over truth, and ideology over fact. These whims happen to also sum up the liberal view of the world. When first promoted the minimum wage was purposely ..... 
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