Our home is under yet another major environmental threat! A huge cattle feedlot operation is being enlarged just east of Monona and adjacent to US Highway 18.
This factory farm will be constructed on 48 acres, will house 10,000 head of cattle at one time, 20,000 per year, will house a lagoon of 39 million gallons of manure, will have two 620-foot deep wells pumping 22 million gallons of water out of our precious aquifer, annually.
This massive feedlot will be built in the watershed of our beautiful cold water trout stream of Bloody Run. The air pollution could be unfathomable. From the history of these size manure lagoons, it is not if it will spill, but when it will spill. There are many sinkholes in this watershed, which are direct conduits to our aquifer.
These types of facilities also reflect a national cultural ethos of greed, more-more-more, faster-faster-faster and bigger-bigger-bigger. We must change as a species soon, or there will nothing left of our natural world.
The Driftless Area here in northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and northwest Illinois is a global treasure. Ancient porous karst geology, cold-water streams, beautiful hardwood forests, unique flora and fauna, some found nowhere else.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is conducting a public hearing on the subject of this particular factory farm at 4 p.m. Nov. 29 in the county office building in Elkader.
This is not simply an Iowa issue but at the very least a regional one. One would be naive to believe that there is not more of these huge feedlots on the horizon. If you do care, please make plans to attend and also learn where your food comes from.
Timothy Mason, McGregor