Hello everyone! Bemidji is still looking beautiful with all this snow, and I hope you’re taking advantage of yesterday and today’s warm temperatures to get outside and enjoy it!
Earlier this week, Sustainable Tuesdays took a field trip to attend the DNR’s public hearing on the proposed amendments to the “Rules Relating to the Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species.” This was one of five hearings held in the state, and the first on this topic in a long while—the last updates to the these rules came in 1996!
The majority of the public hearing was set aside for public comments. There are a number of proposed changes that have been generating some controversy—primarily the delisting of the gray wolf, the snapping turtle, and the bald eagle.
I had never been to a public hearing like this before and was unsure of what to expect. I walked away from this meeting feeling so incredibly proud of the community members that stood up and shared their perspectives on the proposed changes. Speaker after speaker addressed their opposition to the delisting of the wolf (and the wolf hunt that came so soon after the delisting) or the delisting of the bald eagle and snapping turtle. People shared personal stories about their experiences with these animals, the importance they have in Anishinaabe culture, and addressed their concern about the lack of scientific data to support the delisting. Many were concerned at how economic and political incentives seemed to be holding sway over the delisting, rather than important environmental factors—and I have found that the more I learn about what has been happening with the wolf hunt, the more I agree.
I know that this is a divisive issue for many people, and one that some may feel uncomfortable addressing, but it is also one of critical importance in our area. If you haven’t had the chance to educate yourself about Minnesota’s gray wolf population and the issues surrounding the wolf hunt, I suggest you visit the Howling for Wolves website, which addresses many misconceptions about the hunt.
Click here to read the Bemidji Pioneer’s feature on the DNR’s public hearing and learn about issues that concerned community members brought to the DNR’s attention.
Upcoming at our next Sustainable Tuesdays … Garden Planning for Beginners and Seed Exchange!
Are you interested in starting a garden, but are unsure of where to begin? Come learn from Diana Kuklinski and Rochelle Quick as they share their knowledge of garden planning. We’ll talk about what to plant when, the benefits of companion planting, and learn several tips for a resilient garden. We’ll also be sharing and exchanging seeds!
This is the time of year that people start prepping for their gardens. Seed catalogs are coming out, but before you consider ordering your seeds, see what’s available to you in the Bemidji community. Seed exchanges are a wonderful opportunity to connect with fellow community members who share gardening interests and to learn from their experiences!
We hope that you will join us for this fun event! We will be meeting from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Rail River Folk School. A portion of our time will be devoted to garden planning and tips for beginners who are interested in getting their own garden started. The remainder of our session will be a seed exchange and opportunity for attendees to mingle and share their gardening experiences!
We hope to see you there!
When: Tuesday, February 12th from 5:30 to 7:30pm
Where: Rail River Folk School (303 Railroad St SW – across the Irvine bridge and to the left)
There’s another fantastic opportunity for a seed exchange this weekend! Join the Bemidji Vegetable and Flower Seed Exchange this Saturday, February 9th from 10am to 1pm.
From the event page:
“Are you a seed saver? Got seed left over from last year? Let’s share what we have, and everyone can have a more interesting garden this year.
* If you didn’t save seed last year, buy some to share. One packet of seed goes a long way, usually more than you need.
*Bring seeds in any amount to exchange.
*Written information on planting, zone, light, disease resistance, and/or a photo would be nice.
Most important bring your own envelopes to collect seed from others, and a pen to write down details!”
This is another wonderful opportunity that we hope you take advantage of!
That’s all for this week’s post. Word is going around that we may be getting some snow on Sunday – drive safe and stay warm this weekend!
As always, our program depends on your input and feedback, and we welcome your ideas and suggestions to broaden our community. Sustainable Tuesdays feature a variety of learning opportunities focused on sustainability that connect our beautiful, vibrant community and is a partnership program with the Indigenous Environmental Network, MN GreenCorps, Rail River Folk School and BSU’s Sustainability Office.
For more information, contact Caitlyn Schuchhardt at 755-3765 or Simone Senogles at 751-4967.