Larry Stone's Iowa Listening to the Land

April 15, 2011

Much adieu about doves . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — lstone @ 2:31 pm


So the Iowa Natural Resources Commission has voted to open Iowa’s first mourning dove hunting season since 1918.

Now comes the REAL challenge!

After decades of rancorous, divisive debate, it’s time for people on both sides of the issue to finally demonstrate how much we love the doves we’ve been arguing about. Can we now refocus our passion, time, and money to work for issues that can actually make a DIFFERENCE to the long-term future of Iowa’s natural resources? Let’s unite to push for better soil conservation, cleaner water, more wildlife habitat, and funding for Iowa’s new natural resources trust fund.

No matter how we feel about mourning dove hunting, we must admit that whether or not hunters kill some doves will not have a noticeable effect on our environment. Most hunters likely will be out of sight and out of mind at remote fields or water holes where the migrating doves congregate. The rest of us can continue to enjoy resident doves we see at our feeders, farm groves, or utility wires.

Instead of celebrating or decrying the dove season, let’s resolve to call our legislators to demand that they pay more attention to protecting the soil, water, and wild areas so critical to ALL wildlife – and to Iowans’ quality of life.

April 11, 2011

Science Says CAFOs Pollute

Filed under: Uncategorized — lstone @ 7:39 am

Blogger’s note: Sorry for this gloomy posting when we all should be out enjoying spring flowers and birds.

But far too many Iowans have had that experience marred by the smell of CAFOs.

Science Says CAFOs Pollute

In their attempts to defend industrial livestock operations, spokespersons for the Iowa Farm Bureau and others often ignore the very science that they urge others to use.

Shouldn’t it be obvious that waste from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is NOT the same as the manure that many of us once shoveled into manure spreaders from open buildings or lots? Today, when the waste from thousands of animals is collected in pits and allowed to ferment, it becomes untreated sewage, emitting methane, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and other toxic gases.

CAFO supporters may scoff at the air pollutants produced by livestock factories, and gloss over the fact that those pollutants can cause asthma. They may try to divert our attention by citing studies that thunderstorms, aspirin, or emotions can trigger asthma attacks.

But you only suffer asthma attacks if you already have asthma. So where did you get the asthma? The science clearly points to CAFOs as one cause.

Fact: University of Iowa researchers Joel Kline and James Merchant have documented increased rates of asthma in children who attend schools near CAFOs and those who live near CAFOs.

Fact: CAFOs must constantly vent their poison gases into the outside air to keep the livestock inside from inhaling the fumes. If the vent fans stop, animals and people die from breathing those toxins. (For their own safety, CAFO workers must wear dust and gas masks.)

For proponents of CAFO technology to suggest that Iowans should not be concerned about the odors (and toxins!) produced by CAFOs is irresponsible.

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