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Minnesota is a made land
August 23, 2012 - Stephen Browne
Yesterday I covered the Board of Water and Soil Resources annual tour for an article.
I love this kind of story. I'm always learning new things and this was one of those occasions where what I've learned will change the way I see things around me forever. From now on I'll see Minnesota through new eyes.
I've spent a lot of my life in Oklahoma. Now Oklahoma is what I call a "made land," meaning that the land has been changed thoroughly by human action. You fly over Oklahoma and it looks like a patchwork quilt. There is very little of the state which does not clearly show the work of man.
I've just realized that Minnesota is just as much a made land, though the differences are subtle to the eye. Oklahoma is all about fencing prairie and irrigating, putting land under cultivation. Minnesota is about drainage and water control: retention of flood waters, slowing down rushing waters, controlling crossover points between flood plains, and taking marginal agricultural land out of cultivation to let it return to wetland or wild prairie.
No wonder Americans can talk seriously about building livable environments on Mars, we've been doing it on Earth for years!
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