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.