This Earth Day, we are grateful for our region’s natural resources

Holly Kovarik, Pope SWCD

Every Earth Day, we at the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District reflect on the wonderful natural resources we get to enjoy in Pope County. Our District is grateful for the opportunity to work with members of the community to facilitate voluntary initiatives to conserve land, water, forests and wildlife in our area. We are one of 88 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) across the state – and nearly 3,000 across the nation – that provide a neighborly presence to help preserve and protect the natural resources that we all love.

The Pope SWCD has been around for more than 73 years, and recent highlights of our work include a ravine stabilization project within the City of Glenwood, erosion and sediment control projects in the Lake Minnewaska and Lake Emily subwatersheds, tree plantings and grass seedings throughout the county.  These are just a few examples of the ongoing work of our SWCD.

 SWCDs are local units of government that carry out natural resource management programs at the local level. We provide voluntary, incentive-driven approaches to landowners for better soil and cleaner water in the State of Minnesota. Private landowners – using financial and technical assistance from local SWCDs – are implementing a wide variety of conservation practices including preventing soil erosion, planting shelterbelts and buffers, and restoring wetlands.

Born in the wake of the Dust Bowl, SWCDs have been involved in delivering conservation across America for more than 75 years. Because Minnesota has a wide variety of landscapes and conservation needs, each district operates at the direction of locally elected board supervisors. This local perspective allows SWCDs to manage the resources and serve the needs of the citizens in their district.

Soil and Water Conservation District staff and supervisors build partnerships with public and private, local, state and federal entities in an effort to develop locally-driven solutions to natural resource concerns. We work with landowners every step of the way from planning to implementation.

 Our work results in cleaner water, healthier wildlife habitat, better soil, and a collaborative relationship with the community. What a great thing to celebrate this Earth Day.

 To learn more about how your SWCD can help you, visit our website at

Needs contacts for ’54 class reunion

From Inga Mae B. Urke, Starbuck 

A couple weeks ago I wrote about being asked to plan our next reunion for the Class of l954.   Time is getting short and I need  help with names and addresses and I have gotten only one call with an address.  Our friend Larry Hagen “roped me into it” and needs to respond soon so shame on you Larry  – you said you read my Letters to Editor.  I know how to reach only four classmates and I think we want more than FOUR attending our reunion.  Heritage Days is fast  approaching and a reservation must be made soon so I have no choice but to nag – sorry!   Again, my email address is, phone 320-230-2535 and my mailing address is in the Starbuck phone book.  

Our future is in your hands…

From Al Sheldon, Glenwood

An open letter to Minnesota’s governor, senators, representatives:

Thomas Paine, author of “Common Sense” writes; “These are the times that try men’s souls…” And truly, we are being tested. (“Gaslighting”). I write this to ask you if you recognize and can identify this list of organizations, people, and events that are currently at the forefront of daily happenings. It is imperative to know the “who, what, where, when and why” of those who are influencing and shaping our daily lives. Following a partial list of names and organizations that we should be aware of in purpose and in deed. “Event 201,” “2030 Agenda,” “Project 1691,” “The Great Reset,” “5 Tenants of Critic Race Theory,” “National Lawyers Guild,” “Tides Foundation,” “ID 2020,” ‘Antifaschistische Aktion,”  “Rep/Green,” “Alt Blue,” Patrisse Cullors, Susan Rosenburg and 1000 Currents, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Angela Davis, Saul Aunsky, Gregory “Joey” Johnson, Has Jorge Wyss Foundation, Arabell Advisors, 1630 fund, Burger Foundation, New Venture Hub Project, Brian Fallon, Christopher Kang, Klaus Shwab, Blackrock Corp., Vangard Corp., to name a few. 

As I follow the money funnel of all listed above, I find none that represent my family or the documents under which our constitutional republic was/ is formed. It falls on each responsible citizen to know our “Friends and Enemies.” Particularly so for elected representatives, who, sworn by one’s office to uphold our constitution and to preserve and protect its citizens. 

From the Bible; Joshua 24:15 states “…choose you this day whom you will serve…” We must stand up for what is right in upholding the laws of our land, to not do so will lead to our demise. We have children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who deserve the continued stability of civil law and order as defined in the Declaration of Independence, the seven articles and twenty seven amendments to the constitution should be the price that has been paid in preserving these United States allow this “chaos” to continue? Take a stand for what is right and stand by it. “Rights without responsibility leads to anarchy and destruction.”—Where are we? 

My family’s future, my future; your families future, your future is in your hands. Take charge, do not play politics; be non-partisan. Take responsibility for the high position that has been afforded you and do what is right. This is America and may God continue to bless this nation. Without God there is no conscience; without conscience there is no virtue nor veritas. Thank you.

In Sincerity; A.D. and D.D. Sheldon

Glenwood, Minn.