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Thursday, February 4, 2010

CAFOs Good for Economic Development? Maybe Not...

Gail Strobl, treasurer of Grant County Concerned Citizens, asks a reasonable question on the Big Stone Lake Area Forum: Are confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) good economic development? Strobl cites a 2008 Marshall County Journal interview in which Veblen mega-feedlot operator and EPA-certified polluter Rick Millner said he saw "huge potential for dairy development" in North and South Dakota.

Strobl then compiles a damning list of headlines since that show CAFOs don't seem to be such a boon to anyone's economy.

Strobl's article is an interesting read. Unfortunately, the headlines don't include hyperlinks, so I need to do some Googling to check her sources. Check it out, then register your opinion in the conversation at the Big Stone Lake Area Forum.

Also bubbling up in Grant County: Gail tells me the Grant County Concerned Citizens just filed suit against the county commission to bring a proposed increase in setbacks for feedlots to a public vote. The group petitioned for bigger setbacks last fall, but the county commission declined.

In happier news, East Dakota Water Development District is launching a big two-year water quality monitoring project in the Whetstone and Yellow Bank watersheds. That project should give Grant County residents some good data on what's happening with their water.

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