Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Veterans Cemetary Proposed in Jay Cooke State Park

We learned last month that a new Veterans Cemetary is proposed in Jay Cooke State Park. Now, I am all for a gorgeous place to bury our war dead and I certainly feel that these men and women deserve all the respect that their commitment to Bush's Folly demands, if not more because of it. However, I am less concerned about the cemetary and what it stands for than I am of the seemingly effortless way that Pawlenty was able to trade State Park Land for this cemetary. The State of MN is the largest landowner in the State, why could they not have taken land from the Nemadji state forest? Its in the same place, it is already being destroyed by ATV's and is basically useless to anybody who wants to check it out non-motorized. It would actually increase the value of that land instead of decreasing the size of our Park. Undeveloped, non-motorized wildlife protected parks are limited, dwindling and having a hard time surviving, why use that land??


dharma bum said...

I hadn't heard anything about this. You make some very good points on the matter. When we have such limited lands that are under the highest level of protection, our state parks, why must we reduce it even more? This reeks of Pawlenty underhandedly cutting into the ATV-unfriendly lands of the park to pander to voters.

While the sentiment is certainly honorable, there is simply no denying that this act would reduce the size of the state park. The land would be transferred out of the protection of the DNR altogether.

Kelly Fuller said...

Not only does Minnesota have a lot of undeveloped land that could be used instead, but the cemetery is not consistent with the original legislation that set up Minnesota's state parks system.

"Minn. Stat. Chap. 86A (The Outdoor Recreation Act of 1975) identifies state parks and recreation areas as part of Minnesota's outdoor recreation system and designates DNR as the managing agency for these units. According to the act:
A state park shall be established to protect and perpetuate extensive areas of the state
possessing those resources which illustrate and exemplify Minnesota's natural
phenomena and to provide for the use, enjoyment, and understanding of such resources without impairment for the enjoyment and recreation of future generations.

(Minn. Stat. 86A.05, subd. 2 (a))
State parks shall be administered... to preserve, perpetuate, and interpret natural
features that existed in the area of the park prior to settlement and other significant natural, scenic, scientific, or historic features that are present. Management shall seek to maintain a balance among the plant and animal life of the park and to re-establish desirable plants and animals that were formerly indigenous to the park area but are now missing. Programs to interpret the natural features of the park shall be provided.
Outdoor recreation activities to utilize the natural features of the park that can be accommodated without material disturbance of the natural features of the park or the introduction of undue artificiality into the natural scene may be permitted. Park use shall be primarily for aesthetic, cultural, and educational purposes, and shall not be designed
to accommodate all forms or unlimited volumes of recreational use. Physical development shall be limited to those facilities necessary to complement the natural
features and the values being preserved. (Minn. Stat. 86A.05, subd. 2 (c))"