Kinni: Dams no longer needed

I grew up on a farm in Kinnickinnic Township. There, the upper Kinni flowed through our farm, north to south, flowing freely as it wound its way towards River Falls. Even today, 50-60 years after my childhood growing up on the Kinni I can walk along “our” stretch of the river and recall those wonderful memories of days gone by.

In his book “A Sand County Almanac,” Aldo Leopold said, “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them.”

The progress for River Falls, it could be said, was in part the installation of the dams. They were an essential part of the growth of that community, but I think their value has long past. The small electric generation produced is no longer an essential need, and the damage to the river greatly exceeds the value of the electricity. I believe we are in a time where global warming is affecting our climate. One result is a slow but steady increase in temperatures.

The dam impoundments are known to warm the water released into the lower Kinni. The increased temperatures of this impoundment water, added to the overall temperature increase in our part of the world spells disaster for the wild Kinni
trout downstream.

We are a community of knowledgeable, thoughtful, and caring citizens. While I appreciate that the history of our city’s success is, in part, tied to the dams they are in no way essential today. I don’t take the wild things for granted, nor should
you.

Dale Jorgenson
River Falls

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