[Mnbird] Birders and Lebanon Hills Regional Park
jb at inet-serv.com
Tue Sep 11 08:44:02 CDT 2018
Below is a letter published in the StarTribune. The birding community
might be interested in providing their feedback to the Met Council as well.
Turtles Aren’t Safe Yet
Blanding’s turtles a nice story, but residents must stay vigilant
Finding baby Blanding’s turtles within Lebanon Hills Regional Park is
indeed something to celebrate (“Naturalists thrilled at discovery of
rare turtles,” Aug. 30) These threatened reptiles gravitate toward
prairies that are near wetlands — a habitat combination that is
widespread in the park. One should conclude they have a safe place to
call home. They don’t. Their habitat is where a controversial asphalt
trail designed as a bike thoroughfare is planned; and where event space
was proposed; and where, until recently, the natural resources were
neglected and allowed to degrade for decades.
We are fortunate that in 1974 the state Legislature, noting the
significant loss of wildlife habitat all around the metro, established
the Regional Parks System to preserve and protect these most valuable
remaining large open spaces. Regional parks complement amenities
available in city parks by providing a wide range of nature-based
opportunities. These are the “state parks” of the metro area, and we
have a responsibility to manage them to their full potential. Stories
like baby Blanding’s sightings should be the norm, not the exception.
The best way for wildlife to thrive is by minimizing human impact on
Regional parks are guided by the Met Council’s Regional Parks Policy
Plan, which is currently being updated. Proposed changes will expand new
construction of costly infrastructure and include plans for more asphalt
(along with their chemical treatments) throughout these nature-based
parks. Let the Met Council know that the priority for our regional parks
should be natural resource restoration and programming to support a
natural, wildlife-friendly setting. Public comments are encouraged to
public.info at metc.state.mn.us through Sept. 27.
HOLLY EINESS, Minneapolis
* Write to Metropolitan Council, Public Information at 390 Robert St.
N., St. Paul, MN 55101
* Email to Metropolitan Council: public.info at metc.state.mn.us
* Leave a message at 651.602.1500 (TTY 651.291.0904)
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