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Board acted prudently on behalf of all Douglas County citizens

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To the editor:

Prairie Lakes Farms, LLC is suing Douglas County and, in essence, the good citizens of Douglas County because the County Board of Adjustment prudently refused to allow Prairie Lakes Farms, LLC to site a large feedlot close to two protected bodies of water. The board is simply acting in its fiduciary capacity on behalf of all the citizens of Douglas County.

Over 40 years ago, President Nixon signed the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA was in response to the country’s lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands being turned into a sewage system. In the dark days of the early 1970s, nearly two-thirds of the country’s waters were unsafe for fishing or swimming. The indiscriminate abuse of waters created a palpable foul stench in many rivers, lakes and streams in the U.S.

But not in Douglas County, where clean water matters. In most any lake here the water has always been pristine and deliciously clean. People here do not allow the

malignant fouling of the county’s valuable resources.

Managing the risk of a feedlot with nearly 1,000 animals close to two protected waters presupposes, amongst other things, that during extreme rainfall, potentially catastrophic manure runoff can be prevented. If recent weather has taught us anything, it is that Mother Nature gets to have the last word. Weather turned from the polar vortex during winter to the Minnesota monsoon in the spring. Extreme cold to extreme wet. Extreme weather events are rare but can be dangerous when they occur.

The Douglas County Board of Adjustment behaved prudently in denying an exception to local ordinance and is being sued by Prairie Lakes Farms, LLC. Why, exactly, do the courts have to sort this out? Who picks up the bill?

Editor’s note: Mr. Anderson was raised in Evansville Township and owns farmland near the proposed feedlot.

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