Rogue River Watershed Protecting Your Environment

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

By KIM SAPKOWSKI Secretary of the Rogue River Watershed Council The current economic environment is, to say the least, unpredictable. One thing is constant, however – nature. The changing seasons, day and night, and flowing rivers are unwavering. Knowing this keeps us grounded in an ever changing economic environment. The Rogue River provides its communities many economic benefits. Data provided by West Michigan Trout Unlimited and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality shows that in 2004, 17,239 angling trips were made to the river and fisherman spent an average of $35 per fishing trip to the Rogue River Watershed. That’s a yearly total of $603,365. What would we do if an area business failed and left the local economy with a $603,365 void? The Rogue River has been a source of food, water, and transportation for humans and animals for thousands of years. The river and its surrounding watershed were formed by glaciers around 12,000 years ago. Today the Rogue River has the distinction of being one of Michigan’s southern-most trout streams. It is known throughout the state and mid-west for being a clean trout stream located within 15 minutes of an urban center. Here it is quite possible to toss fishing gear into the car, dash out of work at 5:00 and have a line in the water by 5:30. When we protect and preserve the Rogue River, we generate income for our local economy by providing a clean and healthy river. Bait shops, canoe liveries, gas stations, and restaurants, just to name a few, benefit from people using the Rogue River. The social benefits are harder to measure yet just as valuable, and intermingle with the economic benefits. A stroll on the boardwalk along the river in Rockford, spying deer at the Rogue’s banks while canoeing in the quiet of early morning, kids splashing and catching minnows in the river on a bright summer day or steam rising from the ice-crusted river on a zero degree morning; these are only a few of the social benefits the Rogue River provides. Protecting and preserving the river doesn’t necessarily mean pumping money into initiatives. Rather it can mean doing something as obvious as not littering. Or, if you own property along the river, choosing to […]

Rotarians give $5,000 for world water project

October 2, 2008 // 0 Comments

Rockford Rotarian Jim Bodenner spearheaded a world water relief effort that has gone global. On Tuesday, September 9, the cause was aided by a significant donation from visiting Rotarians. Guests to Rockford, Dr. Reinhart Köhler and Charlie Hillecke of German’s Wolfsburg-Gifhorn Rotary club, amazed Rockford Rotary with a $5,000 check for the world water efforts. The visit was part of a bi-annual event since 1993. This year German Rotarians came to Rockford. In two years Rockford Rotarians will visit the German club. The check was presented during one of the many outings the Rotarians shared while visiting. “We want to help poor people around the world,” said Köhler of the generous donation. Bodenner has been promoting world-wide use of a biosand filter, acknowledged by the World Health Organization as the best of several methods to treat water in poor countries to make it safe for human consumption. The Rockford Rotary club adopted the project as one of their many efforts to improve the lives of people around the world. “They are very generous in world-wide donating for the health of people everywhere,” said Rockford Rotary President Dave Spencer. “Safe water is so important for quality of life.” Bodenner is working with the Pentagon to have American soldiers take the filters with them on aircraft carriers and other ships. They will then be able to distribute them to ports of call, doing humanitarian work along with their regular duties. At a hoedown at Herman’s Boy Coffee Ranch on Tuesday, the German Rotarians enjoyed a wonderful meal and fellowship after presenting the check. They also sponsor a nursing home in the Dominican Republic and donated $5,000 for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. “Rockford and Wolfsburg-Gifhorn Rotary have been working hand-in-hand for many years to promote international aid and understanding,” Spencer said. The Wolfsburg-Gifhorn Rotary is located in the birthplace of the Volkswagon. Their group is 54 members strong, very close in size to the Rockford club. According to Köhler, each member was asked to give what they could for the donation. “If the world had more friends like the Wolfsburg-Gifhorn Rotary, the world would be a better place,” Spencer said. “Our Rockford group is awed by the generosity and compassion of our brother German Rotarians.” In addition […]