Letter to the Editor

Ver Steeg: Are the governor's pheasant hunt and buffer law just coincidences?

To the Editor:

I’m just curious, does anybody else find it somewhat coincidental that the state of Minnesota [Governor Dayton] signs into law that there has to be buffer strips along certain protected waterways in the name of soil conservation right at the time Governor Dayton is trying to build us as a state of great pheasant hunting. I don’t know of a single farmer who doesn’t want clean water and less soil erosion and that’s why there hasn’t been more of a public outrage about the fact that the state of Minnesota is strong-arming many of us into taking productive land out of production. In some cases buffer strips are a good idea others not, one size does not fit all along a river or other public waterways. The one thing I do know for sure is that the state of Minnesota should never have the right to force us to set land aside without some form of compensation [in my mind that is simply theft] oh and we get to keep paying property tax on our now unproductive land. If it is deemed to be for the greater good of which I am not convinced [soil erosion or more hunting land] should we not be fairly compensated.

I think the 2018 Governors Pheasant Opener is like someone planning a huge backyard barbecue and then saying our yard isn’t big enough and we don’t want the mess so we’re going to tell {not ask} the neighbor that he has to have it in his yard, oh and tell him he has to pay for it too and if he don’t want to, we’ll come up with some elaborate scheme to fine him. That is exactly what the state of Minnesota is doing to us landowners. In the Oct. 19 Star Herald it is mentioned that this event could mean as much as $1 million worth in publicity for the community. As long as we’re pulling numbers out of a hat one could say that an influx of thousands of hunters and so-called dignitaries and media as stated in the paper could do $1 million worth of damage to our private properties. As a side note, if I were a local hunter the last thing I would want is thousands of hunters and so-called dignitaries hunting the land I’ve always hunted and mess up the relationships I have with the local landowners. Generally speaking, local hunters care about our land and relationships, kind of like shopping “ keep it local.”

I think with the 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Opener scheduled to be in Rock County, the Rock County farmers, maybe all farmers in the state of Minnesota and landowners have the opportunity to express our lack of appreciation for the unfair disrespectful trampling of our rights as a landowner and citizen of the state of Minnesota by posting our properties and the properties we are responsible for “KEEP OUT PRIVATE PROPERTY. NO  TRESSPASSING”(especially Governor Dayton and his so-called dignitaries and the thousands of hunters from the metropolitan areas). Unfortunately some of our local hunters and local Pheasants Forever group will be affected by this as well so I would encourage them to call their reps and the governor’s office and express their feelings of this unfair treatment.

Harold Ver Steeg


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