In this morning's Minneapolis Star Tribune, there is an anxiety-filled story forewarning the designation of the St. Croix River as "an endangered waterway."
The St. Croix River is home to two of our adopted river sements; in the far north, a 9.6 mile stretch which begins at Thayer's Landing, and closer to home a 3.7 mile backwater which begins just south of the Osceola bridge.
Hearing that a waterway is "endangered" is much like receiving a harsh diagnosis on a trip to the doctor. It is, at once, terrible and delightful. Nobody wants to learn they are ill, but neither does one benefit from continued ignorance; a diagnosis enables treatment that can lead to wellness. Ignorance, on the other hand, can be fatal.
The endangered designations, scheduled for release Tuesday, are published by a group known as American Rivers. Their designation of the Mississippi as an endangered waterway back in the early 90's is one of the things that brought river distress to my attention in the first place.
One of the things that concerns me about this story is the reader commentary that follows. Too many people are quick to place blame, or cast the story as the work of "this group" or "that." That's too bad. Because the St. Croix will not benefit from finding fault or placing blame. It needs us to focus on solutions. And do something.
To read the Star Tribune story, click here.
© Mike D. Anderson, Crystal, MN. All rights reserved.