We saw the film, The Cost of Sand, at the Oneota Film Festival recently. It documents the current damage to farms and communities by frac-sand mining across the Mississippi in Wisconsin. We face a similar threat here to our soil, air, water, farms, hunting, fishing, roads, bridges as well as to the natural beauty cherished by all of us.
Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence, referred to our “unalienable rights.” These are rights we derive from being human, not given to us by “the Crown,” or the state of Iowa, or the U.S. government. When I was growing up here in Iowa, brave men and women were being beaten and jailed in the South for asserting a right to sit at an integrated lunch counter and be served.
Surely there is a comparable right to safe air to breathe and water to drink. And, correspondingly and equally so, there is a right for us, acting through our county government, to ban activities that will seriously damage our air and water and our quality of life.
I don’t agree with every detail of the ordinance proposed by the Community Rights Alliance, but I fully support it as our best opportunity to prevent irreversible harm to our county. I hope the Board of Supervisors passes this ordinance unanimously. I thank Rick Fromm for his thoughtful editorial supporting the CRA proposal in the March 6 paper.