Thursday, September 29, 2011


by Gordon Prickett WATERWORKS Column Oct 5th Aitkin Independent Age

In this land of many freshwater lakes we hear reports of climate change and weather extremes. If, as some say, we are borrowing this environment from our children, then what are we leaving behind for them?

So far in 2011, I have noticed nothing on our lake to worry me. Lake clarity is holding steady. Our count of loons this year includes one surviving juvenile who will soon make his incredible journey to the Gulf of Mexico without adult parents who have protected him all summer. Wake boards, kayaks, pontoons, sailboats, canoes, fishing boats, and jet skis have shared the weekend waters pretty well all summer.

Across Aitkin County there are about sixty lakes with public access landings and about a hundred lakes with some shoreland that has been developed by settlers. In the entire county we have more than three hundred lakes larger than ten acres. Just 251 of these have been given names. This provides an incredible bounty of fresh water for the future.


The Aitkin County Lakes And Rivers Association (ACLARA) has been updating its by-laws this year and just completed the job in September. Careful attention was given to restating the purpose for this coalition of individual lake associations. With a membership from twenty county lakes, we approved the following five-part purpose for ACLARA:

1. Protect, preserve, and improve the waters and shoreland of Aitkin County, enhancing aesthetic, economic, and recreational values.

2. Serve as a voice of the membership to governmental bodies and agencies.

3. Inform and educate citizens of the County in becoming more effective stewards of our water resources.

4. Connect and communicate with individual lake and river associations and with coalitions in Minnesota. Also help form new lake associations in the County.

5. Support safety and courtesy in the use of county waters and the use of shoreland, and support compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.

This list ought to keep us active and engaged well into the future. Our Annual Meeting is this Saturday, 9:45 am, October 8th, at the Aitkin Library, and is open to everyone.

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