|“One of the last vestiges of what the landscape was,” Limbo Creek hangs in the balance and gets statewide coverage in the Star Tribune|
The story of Limbo Creek, one of the last unaltered streams in Renville County, continues on. An otherwise relatively obscure (and appropriately named) waterway in the heart of Minnesota’s agricultural area has become a case study on the importance of agency accountability and bedrock environmental rulemaking like the Public Waters Inventory (PWI). After petitioning the DNR to re-add Limbo Creek to the PWI, the state’s inventory of public waters, the County of Renville attempted to “beat the clock” and ditch this protected water before the public comment period on adding Limbo to the PWI closed.
With no environmental study, and in the face of clear directives from the DNR to not proceed, Renville County appears to be dead set on digging out, ditching and straightening a portion of Limbo Creek. Permanently damaging Limbo Creek without properly studying the impact sets a dangerous precedent for Minnesota — where ill-advised draining and tilling has led to massive erosion problems resulting in millions of dollars of downstream damage.
Last Sunday, the Star Tribune published an excellent article covering the importance of Limbo Creek and how it ties into the future of hundreds of waterways across the state.
In MCEA Senior Attorney Elise Larson’s words, who leads our work on Limbo, “Limbo Creek is one of the last vestiges of what the landscape was…If we’re not even going to protect the few waterways that remain, how are we ever going to tackle the issues facing the Minnesota River?”
The latest development in this saga, a strongly worded letter from DNR clarifying construction on the ditch cannot begin until an environmental study of the protected stream is complete, will likely end up in court. MCEA will be there to stand up for downstream communities, the Public Waters Inventory, and landowners along Limbo Creek and the Minnesota River. If you haven’t taken action already, please take a moment to add your name to the petition calling for the deserved protections of this public water. Take action now.
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