St. Cloud State University
As aspiring field ecologists, my colleague and I have a heightened interest in how community developments affect our surrounding ecosystems. It has recently been proposed a public beach be added to Kraemer Lake in St. Joseph. Our concerns regarding this announcement are primarily based on the implications it will have for current wildlife. Constructing a beach requires clearing shoreline vegetation important for fish spawning, feeding and nesting. Altering fish populations would in turn affect many people, such as members of the St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club, who own an access at the east side of the lake and have been stocking walleye there since 1999.
Another concern with this development is the effect it will have on the neighboring forest. The forest around Kraemer Lake is one of the last intact and healthy forests in the area. Altering the structure of this forest will have effects on current animal and plant species that reside there. In addition, the influx of people drawn to the beach will accelerate this changing dynamic of the forest.
In conclusion, we believe putting a public beach on Kraemer Lake will entail more negative effects than positive ones. Development of natural areas is essentially irreversible, so it’s important to stop development before any lasting changes to the habitat occur.