Friday, June 26, 2009

Adopt a Turtle!!!

This morning we talked with Marshall Helmberger, the editor of the Timberjay, a newspaper serving northeastern Minnesota. This week he wrote about a topic near and dear to his heart: TURTLES. Marshall travels on highway 1 over the Pike River on the way to work and as he said, "This year has been awful. Five large snapping turtles that we know of have been killed." He went on to say, "it's upsetting a lot of people - it is always the topic and it's frustrating. The solution is simple: there is no reason a turtle should have to be killed."

Marshall's idea is to have the DOT create a "Adopt a Turtle" program, much like"Adopt a Highway". He said that silk fences (only a foot high) can be put up. It's a technique used all around the country. He's not suggesting that the MnDot find a place in their budget to do this. "Local people know where these problem areas are – all we need is for them to contact DNR/MNDOT." Changes can be made by going to your local government. Marshall himself will be headed to his local township board with a letter in hand, asking them to sign it and let the MnDot know what the community wants.

It takes citizen pressure to make things happen. Let YOUR local government know that you want to adopt a turtle on your road!

Marshall said, "I think it can be done. It's relatively simple and it would get people all across the state involved in not just conservation but public safety."

Check out Marshall's editorial here.

Interested in turtles? Check out this interesting article from the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer! And check this out about the Blanding turtle's campaign to be the Minnesota state reptile.

-Heidi Holtan

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