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Calling on DNR for an Environmental Assessment, Toxic Taters is Hiring, Straight River Watershed Updates, and Don't Forget the Taters This Holiday!
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The Tater Communicator  Issue 5 December 2015

Call on DNR Commissioner Landwehr for Environmental Assessment


More than 240 people signed the petition that Toxic Taters and the Land Stewardship Project delivered to the Environmental Quality Board on November 17th asking that the DNR require RDO to complete an Environmental Assessment (EAW) before moving forward with their expansion in the Pineland Sands Aquifer.  Since that time more than 160 individuals and over a dozen organizations have added their support to our campaign.  But, the DNR hasn't honored our request, yet.  

Our petition put a brief pause on permitting process for five proposed irrigation wells and 500 acres of converted forest land in Wadena and Becker counties.  Those permits are the first stage of a larger project which may include over 50 wells and up to approximately 26,000 acres in Wadena, Cass, Becker, and Hubbard counties much of which is currently in pine forests.  

While RDO has claimed this expansion is to enable them to move from a three to a four year rotation, company spokesperson Anne Struthers has admitted  (Twin Cities Business 11/25/2015) “In reality, we’ll probably never reach four-year rotation on all of our fields, due to land suitability.”  It remains unclear how many fields will actually move to a four year rotation due to this expansion. 

What will the impacts of putting pesticides on a larger area be?  What will the impacts be on the aquifer of these wells using more than 166 million gallons of water a year?  How will the change of forests to farmlands affect the region? There are a lot of questions to answer.  Questions that should be answered with an EAW

We're asking that you take action by:
  1. Contacting DNR Commissioner Landwehr to tell him "Listen to the people. Protect the water." Ask the commissioner to host a public hearing in the area affected and require that RDO complete an EAW.   Commissioner Landwehr can be reached at 651-259-5555 or commissioner@dnr.mn.us  and copy Governor Dayton at mark.dayton@state.mn.us
  2. Write a letter to the editor to your local paper
Want to help plan the 2016 McDonald's Strategy?  Now is the time!  Contact Amy to find out how to get involved.  
Nice desk, now who will fill it? Toxic Taters is hiring!  

Toxic Taters Is Hiring!


Toxic Taters is looking for someone who is creative, hard working, and excited about grassroots organizing to fill our communications and outreach specialist position.  The position is 30 hours a week and encompasses a wide variety of work from coordinating our video project to handling our website and database.  Resumes are due January 8th.  To learn more check out the job description online at http://www.toxictaters.org/opportunities

We also have multiple internships and service learning opportunities available. 

Straight River Watershed Groundwater Management Planning


The room was packed at the last Straight River Watershed Groundwater Management Planning meeting in Park Rapids with people who wanted to see the latest draft plan and ask questions of Commissioner Landwehr.  It was clear that many of those people were concerned about the impacts of pesticides on and corporate agribusiness on the water in the area.  

We've got two more opportunities to make an impact.  The first is the simplist.  The DNR is accepting comments on this lastest draft of the Straight River Groundwater Management Plan through January 7th.  You can learn more at http://www.toxictaters.org/straight_river_groundwater_management_plan .  Comments should be sent to Robert Guthrie at Robert.Guthrie@state.mn.us 
The second is a bit more time intensive.  Individuals or organizations who would like serve on the plan's implementation team should contact Mr. Guthrie this month.  Serving on the committee is a five year commitment. The committee is likely to meet two- three times annually.  

Growing Together--How Would You Like to Be Part of the Action?


RDO's use of pesticides and billions of gallons of water affects all of us and Toxic Taters wants to make it possible for everyone to do their part to protect our communities and environment.  That's why we're giving you this chance to tell us how you'd like to be involved, when you'd like to have meetings, and where.  Please complete this quick questionaire before the end of the year!  Thanks for all your help. Together we can! http://www.toxictaters.org/volunteer

Don't Forget the Taters This Holiday Season!


We've come a long way from being just a few folks who literally got sick and tired of being sprayed with pesticides.  Our numbers are growing every day and we're making RDO change how they grow potatoes.  We can win this fight if we work together.  Will you help?  Make a donation today and it will be matched by the Unitarian Universalist Fund for a Just Society. Make your contribution today!  http://www.toxictaters.org/donate   Thanks for your support!

Ways To Help Today:

  1. Take advantage of our current matching gift and make your contribution count double.  Donate today. 
  2. Write a letter to the editor encouraging DNR Commissioner Landwehr and Governor Dayton to require that RDO do an environmental assessment before expanding in the Pineland Sands Aquifer
  3. Volunteer to help with research or data entry or offer another skill to share
  4. Like us on Facebook
  5. Join us for an upcoming committee or full group meeting.  Toxic Taters general meetings are the 4th Monday of each month at 10am at the Detroit Lakes Public Library.
To Get Involved  go to our website www.toxictaters.org
call 218-375-2600 or email tatercoordinator@gmail.com
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Our contact information is:
PO Box 25 Callaway, MN 56521
tatercoordinator@gmail.com
218-375-2600 or 218-8503629

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