Whitefish Area Homeowners Association Shares Highlights From Annual Meeting Speakers – Pine and Lakes Echo Journal
CROSSLAKE — The Whitefish Area Property Owners Association’s annual meeting on August 20 featured guest speakers and more than 15 organizations providing information at booths in the narthex of Immaculate Heart Church in Crosslake about their programs and activities related to water quality.
A short business meeting was held to review financial reports, elect WAPOA board members, remove a board member, and thank individual members and WAPOA member companies for their support . Cinnamon buns and coffee were offered to participants.
Walter Piper of Chapman University updated participants on ongoing research on the “local” population of loons. This is a “mark and recapture” study that assesses the territorial behavior and reproductive biology of loons.
The research, supported by the National Loon Center, is being conducted by University of Wisconsin graduate students in 20 loon territories from Outing to Pequot Lakes, including the Whitefish Range. They recapture, band and collect size and weight data and observe the behaviors of loons, some of which were banded in 2021.
By analyzing the data collected here, they learn if Minnesota loons are declining in population and/or exhibiting declining hatch rates and lower loon chick and adult male loon size, as has been observed. in Wisconsin.
Studying loon populations in Minnesota and Wisconsin will help determine what may be causing these changes in loon health and behavior, and what could be done to prevent them.
Other guest speakers were Anna Cates, Soil Health Extension Specialist, University of Minnesota; and Randy Johnson, ecologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison and U of M.
They presented information on the role that healthy soils play in protecting water quality – groundwater, lakes and streams. Cates focused on describing the components of soil and the importance of having smaller aggregates in the soil to hold water – to provide moisture to crops and to filter rainwater (and irrigation) before it flows into groundwater, and to prevent runoff of eroded water. soil and chemicals in nearby lakes and rivers.
Smaller soil particles also provide more room for root growth, which holds soil together and prevents erosion by wind and rain.
Johnson presented information on Grassland 2.0, a managed agricultural program that uses science to encourage the implementation of agricultural practices that would reduce groundwater contamination from nitrates, phosphorus and organic matter.
The project helps farmers who raise livestock and plant crops to consider how they could change their practices to restore natural grasslands, which would improve water quality, reduce flooding, help stabilize the climate and promote biodiversity . He showed examples of apps like Smart Scape and Graze Scape that can be used to identify “hot spots” in agricultural areas and then lead to collaborative efforts with farmers to remedy the problems.
Nearly 100 people attended the meeting, and there were several questions and discussion points following the speakers’ presentations.