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Lake County Board of Commissioners

Tara Solem of the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District met with the Lake Coun­ty Board last week to talk about ongoing collabo­rative work to care for and manage the Rainy Headwaters – Vermilion Watershed. The Bound­ary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Superior Na­tional Forest, Voyageurs National Park, and Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe are all part of this watershed. The ongoing work there is part of an effort to iden­tify and address issues of concern so as to conserve and improve the beauty of this natural resource.

There is a considerable list of priority issues that are part of this project, including monitoring for pollutants, addressing shoreline erosion caused by development, mitigat­ing septic systems that contribute to groundwa­ter contamination, storm­water runoff, and for­est management. Other considerations affecting management of the wa­tershed include monitor­ing the impacts of climate change, the social capacity of the area, and cultural con­siderations.

Soil and water conser­vation agencies that are partnering in this effort include Cook County, North St. Louis, Lake County and St. Louis County. Solem asked that the Board approve the plan and accept a mem­orandum of agreement (MOA) among the part­ners for the implementa­tion of the plan.

County Administrator Matthew Huddleston has been talking with State legislators about a num­ber of issues important to Lake County including helium mining. Helium is used in the manufacture of semiconductors, MRI scanners, and other ad­vanced technologies. The potential for helium min­ing is new to Minnesota and will likely be import­ant to the area.

Huddleston is also working with Lake Coun­ty HRA Director Matthew Johnson both fund­ing for the Silverpoint II project and on the role the County can play in the devel­opment of the John A. John­son property.

The next Lake County Board meeting is sched­uled for February 27th at 2:00.

Rick Evans
Rick Evans
My wife, Marsha Kinzer (a proud DEHS Greyhound, class of ‘77) introduced me to the North Shore on vacation in 2012. It became our regular escape when the stress of our careers in education became overwhelming, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the breathtaking scenery, the nice people, and “salad” containing Jell-o and marshmallows. So you can either blame or thank my loving wife for my being here, because when we needed to choose a retirement hometown, Marsha advocated hard for her beloved Duluth, and here we are, six months later. Yes, this will be my first northern Minnesota winter. Yes, I welcome thoughts and prayers. Government, public policy, and social justice weighed heavily in the curriculums I taught at the high school level over a thirty-eight year career. In addition, we were a laboratory school focused on critical thinking in conjunction with technical and scientific writing. So when I found myself adrift on the great ocean of retirement and spied a raft, I jumped at the chance to take up what I’d left behind…minus the bad teachers’ lounge coffee. My position at the NSJ allows me to combine my passions for government and writing, and it’s helping me to feel less out of touch in new surroundings. When I’m not being “Cubby” (Marsha’s favorite new nickname for this green reporter) I enjoy pointing at eagles and saying, “Look, honey. There’s an eagle.” I’ve had an active side hustle as a professional musician for almost as many years as Charlie Parr. As a guitarist/singer/songwriter, I graced the stages of clubs and festivals around southern Wisconsin, including an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Should I even mention A Prairie Home Companion, or am I the only one here old enough to remember what that is? Look! An eagle!
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