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SD Ag Dept. Hands out Federal Tree-Planting Dollars to Fight Global Warming

In good conservation news, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture is handing out money to six communities (including Watertown, via the Lake Area Zoological Society) to help plant more trees for us liberals to hug.

But wait: is this $11,076 of government largesse just another effort by S.D. Ag to introduce more invasive species onto the prairie? Heck, as a member of an invasive species, I'm fine with more trees. Let's acquire conservation easements along the rail right of ways from Canton to Belle Fourche and from Yankton to Aberdeen, lay two trans-Dakota bike paths, and plant mile-wide forest strips around them for shady, wind-free rides across the state!

Or just plant a couple shady groves around Watertown, Gary, Freeman, Wall, Lead, and Sturgis. Every tree helps.

Wherever these communities plant their trees, they should be sure to include a little placard reminding everyone that these wonderful trees were brought to them by socialism... or, more accurately, by the generosity of the United States Forest Service, for which federal largesse the Republicans running South Dakota's Department of Agriculture gladly take credit. The tree funds come from Urban and Community Forestry Assistance legislation in which Congress recognizes that "tree plantings and ground covers such as low growing dense perennial turfgrass sod in urban areas and communities can aid in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating the heat island effect, and reducing energy consumption, thus contributing to efforts to reduce global warming trends."

Yes, your Republican South Dakota Department of Agriculture is accepting and spending federal money to reduce CO2 emissions, reduce energy consumption, and fight global warming.


  1. larry kurtz 2014.07.02

    Buying votes from South Dakotans has been the SDGOP way since Statehood.

  2. JeniW 2014.07.02

    Isn't that a contradiction of reducing government spending?

    Since SD is accepting the hand-out, doesn't that make the State government hypocrites?

    I am all for planting more trees, but why not use State money instead of federal money to accomplish the same thing?

  3. lesliengland 2014.07.02

    what about the rez? sddoa has an obligation to forward everyone's infrastructure, they all pay our taxes, buy our goods.

  4. larry kurtz 2014.07.02

    DD just applied for some more millions in disaster aid: Laurie Gill should just order the plaques reading 'Denny Daugaard Missouri River Bridge' right now.

  5. Tim 2014.07.02

    Hummm, sure wish we could get them to insure those 48,000 that need healthcare.

  6. grudznick 2014.07.02

    DOA trees. I hope they do plant a grove in Wall in the South Blvd median so people can sit in the shade and enjoy some picnicking.

  7. larry kurtz 2014.07.02

    Somebody is mowing the old Milwaukee rail bed at Stamford, east of Kadoka, grud: what do you make of that?

  8. grudznick 2014.07.02

    Probably those damnable cyclists that want to pedal in their fancy pants, lar. Or weed control by that same DOA bunch.

  9. larry kurtz 2014.07.02

    south main at brookings sux, too: innit grud?

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.03

    Not all trees are created equal, and some are species invasive enough to crowd out good ole SD trees. Russian Olive trees are a real pest. Salt cedars, (aka - Tamarisk) even ruin the soil so that other trees, and even most plants won't grow.

    "Tamarix species are fire-adapted, and have long tap roots that allow them to intercept deep water tables and exploit natural water resources. They are able to limit competition from other plants by taking up salt from deep ground water, accumulating it in their foliage, and from there depositing it in the surface soil where it builds up concentrations temporarily detrimental to some plants. "
    From Wikipedia.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.03

    Salt cedars! Salting the earth to tamp down competition! What a devilish Darwinian trick!

    JeniW: Yes. I like to highlight these government grants specifically to challenge our leading Republicans on their anti-government slogans.

  12. JeniW 2014.07.05

    In today's Argus (7/5/14) there is an article about Mt. Rushmore. In the article it mention Secretary Jim Hagen's comment about how Gov. Duagaard within hours was able to get enough people donate money to re-open Mt. Rushmore during the government shut-down.

    To me, that implies that SD really does not need federal dollars to keep the park open. If SD would support its own tourist attractions, that would make it less necessary for the federal government going into further debt to support the park. Since SD gains most the revenue of generated by the tourists visiting the park, it would seem that Mt. Rushmore would be self-sufficient rather than relying on the feds.

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