Yes, we’ll always have alkali dust and forest fire smoke in summer and wood smoke in winter in the Goose Lake Valley. How can we work together to mitigate these…make them less severe, while the Lakeview air quality advisory groups concentrate on wood stove replacement? Someone out there has an idea that would work.
The Goose Lake Valley is part of the Pacific Flyway for migratory birds. Ducks used to feed on fields of mint in our valley. Conservation groups have planted corridors of crops on ranches north of Goose Lake for bird forage. Could mint be planted on the expanding shores of Goose Lake to reduce dust? Since there is not a processing plant here to remove essential oils from mint, it might not be economically feasible to harvest a crop without the railroad or another inexpensive means of shipping. Possibly a different crop would work better, or plants could be chosen just for feeding birds.
Trees filter undesirable atmospheres, absorb dust and smoke. Lakeview’s South H Street has mature deciduous and evergreen trees planted years ago. Could we duplicate that by planting trees of varying heights in New Pine Creek and Lakeview? Trees also provide shade in summer reducing a need for air conditioning, become a wind break, and give habitat and food for birds.
The Department of Environmental Quality has given the Town of Lakeview 5-years to improve its air quality…an opportunity for our communities to work together to improve the health and ecology of our valley by improving the air we breathe. Let’s expand our thinking beyond wood stove replacement and do something for our long term well-being by planting trees in our towns (deciduous for summer and evergreen for winter) and a crop on Goose Lake.
Are you the person with a better solution? Let us hear from you.