Editorial: Vote yes on outdoors measure

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, October 21, 2008

State legislators should have done their jobs last spring and set up a dedicated funding stream for preserving Minnesota’s treasured landscapes. They should have done it in any of the past 10 legislative sessions, for that matter. But they didn’t. This year, they punted the decision to the voters.

The voters should accomplish what leaders have failed to do and approve the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment on Nov. 4. In the past decade, while lawmakers couldn’t figure out what to do, many of the longtime recreational places of Minnesota were turned into vacation homes and second mansions. Many lakes and streams have become polluted. Our children will have fewer places for fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, canoeing, bird-watching and hearing the call of the common loon.

This has got to stop. We are losing our cultural identity as one of the most beautiful states in the country. We are destroying our tourism engine. Minnesotans not only want to protect land and water for the next generations, they need it. Minnesotans need clean water, wildlife habitat, trails, parks and tourism. Minnesotans need this funding stream.

Email newsletter signup

Anyone who enjoys the great outdoors should support the amendment.

But there’s more in it than just for the outdoors. It also provides funding for arts and cultural heritage. If you support places such as historical museums, community theaters and art centers, you also will want to vote for this amendment.

It calls for three-eights of 1 percent on taxable sales until 2034. For those who are counting, the small tax will pay for itself in the tourist dollars for decades to come. For those who aren’t counting, just think of the benefits for your children.

Give your kids a present. Vote yes on the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.