Editorial Roundup: Trashing ice not acceptable in land of 10,000-plus lakes

Published 9:01 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ah, spring is upon us as birds return, snow disappears and daylight lengthens. Ugh, and trash shows up everywhere.

The unfolding of the season in all its glory and guck isn’t new, but it isn’t getting any prettier. The amount of trash left behind on area lake ice during the winter has grown to be such a problem that some Minnesotans are pushing for a law to crack down on the culprits who leave more than a trace behind. They are leaving human waste, Christmas wreaths, empty beer cans and a whole lot of other garbage.

The push is on for legislation that would toughen state law regarding leaving garbage on the ice and require a study of the costs of expanding the law’s enforcement. The action would make sense, especially if the law can more readily be enforced.

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Despite initiatives to push for better ice cleanup on big, popular lakes up north, the problem is spreading, most likely because of the introduction of deluxe ice fishing houses. They are popular and more people are hitting the lakes because of it.

Unfortunately, not all who take to the lake respect it as they should or as others do, making lakes more unsightly and also introducing environmental threats.

A metal chair stuck in lake ice isn’t exactly a piece of furniture that fish are going to find of use when it sinks to the bottom. And you might think that dog or human waste will simply decompose, but the introduction of untreated sewage into fresh water is never an acceptable practice.

In a state that prides itself on its abundance of fresh water, such an abuse of it is an embarrassment. Protection of our waterways are a responsibility that all residents and visitors need to share — and if they don’t, there should be consequences that convince them otherwise.

— Mankato Free Press, March 27

About Editorial Roundup

Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

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