This week, I’m highlighting some of the events that I’ve attended recently and two opportunities to share your time and input.
UTalks: Chronic Wasting Disease
Earlier this week I attended a series of lectures on chronic wasting disease (CWD) at the Bell Museum in Falcon Heights. Dr. Roxanne Larsen, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, explained the origins of this fatal neurological disease and why it’s so difficult to stop it from spreading. Lou Cornicelli, a Minnnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife research manager, talked about the steps that we’re taking to combat it in Minnesota. Dr. Devender Kumar, a research veterinarian from the U of M, discussed developing a CWD test that can be used on live animals and other advanced diagnostics. This event was a great opportunity to spread knowledge about CWD.
Hearing with Congresswoman McCollum
Yesterday I joined Congresswoman Betty McCollum to learn about federal interior-environment funding. Congresswoman McCollum is championing a bill that would protect our National Parks and other public lands, improve access to clean air and drinking water, preserve our natural and cultural resources, and provide support for programs within Native American communities. A fact sheet about the bill is available here.
Mississippi River Conference
I’m currently on my way to attend the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) Mississippi River Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. Other legislators from districts along the Mississippi and I will discuss flood resilience, sustainable agricultural practices, community water access, and water quality preservation. I’m looking forward to working with our downstream neighbors to improve the health of the Mississippi River.
On the glass veranda overlooking the Mississippi River.
Help University of Minnesota Scientists
The Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve was one of the stops on the tour that I went on last week. Cedar Creek is a biological field station where U of M staff and students study how human activities are changing ecosystems. The researchers are currently seeking help from citizen scientists. They’ve collected more than a million images from one hundred hidden cameras that could provide insight into animal behavior and community dynamics, but they need help identifying the animals in each photo. If you’re interested in helping out, you can learn more at eyesonwild.com.
Minnesota Historical Society Seeks Public Input
The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is asking for public input on the name of the site known as Historic Fort Snelling. Many different people have crossed paths at this 23-acre site throughout time, and MNHS wants to know if Minnesotans feel that the current name represents its complex history. Please share your opinions by taking a short survey or attending a public meeting. More details about the public input process and the upcoming public meetings are available here.
On the Road Again
On the Road Again is just around the corner! Like many of you, I’m looking forward to having some delicious booya, a thick stew that requires two days and multiple cooks to prepare. Whether you’re familiar with booya or not, I encourage you to stop by On the Road Again for a taste. Serving begins at 11 and will continue while supplies last. While you’re there, be sure to check out the other activities. There will be a flea market, a car show, live music, a pickle contest, and many activities for kids. I hope to see you there!
When: Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Southview Boulevard, South St. Paul, MN