After reading the article in the Pelican Rapids Press, July 25 edition, “Smoke on the Water, Fire in the Sky,” it hit home with what I’ve noticed over the past twenty some years that we lived in our lake home near Vergas.
Even though there are several great places to view fireworks on the Fourth of July, like Perham’s fairgrounds display, it seems like more and more lakeshore owners have opted to have their own fireworks. The past few years, my other neighbors and I have found the lakeshore and our yards littered with the remnants of fireworks shot over the water. It made me curious what sort of toxins are being left in the lake water plus the litter itself.
With some research, I found there are many toxic chemicals that make up fireworks, most of which I had no clue what they were, with the exception of arsenic which does not ever go away. That alone should concern us.
Research has also proven the noise of fireworks does impact nesting bird populations. California has banned fireworks near the nesting population of the rare Brown Pelicans.
I am also hearing about the impact of visitors to our area who are tired of some resorts which allow fireworks, or are in the vicinity of nearby property owners who do allow it.
Some remarks are that the visitors are not only tired of hearing fireworks going off all hours of the night but also for nights or weeks afterwards, and are looking for a more peaceful place to stay.
I recall an incident where a resort near Otter Tail Lake allowed fireworks; and one of it’s teenage guests, along with neighboring young adults, burned to the ground an adjacent dairy barn by throwing fireworks out of the haymow and accidentally caught the barn on fire. The resort owner told me that the ensuing lawsuits not only were a nightmare, but also the fantastic relationship they had previously with their neighbors was damaged beyond repair.
I can be truly sympathetic to our deputies trying to curtail such illegal activity because it is so numerous. But as the old saying asks…do we insure the goose (our lakes) that is laying golden eggs (tourism benefits and lake activity) or do we insure the golden eggs. The answer, of course, is that we insure our goose which will continue to lay those eggs as long as we protect her.
MacDonald Lake area