Dear editor:

I'm writing to encourage the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors to support a 24 month moratorium on silica sand mining used in hydraulic fracturing (or fracking).

Neighboring states have seen huge growth in silica sand mining and I'm very concerned that we don't have the needed ordinances in place to manage the effects of this industry on our local resources. If we allow silica sand mines, the increased truck traffic will cause wear and tear on our already worn roads and bridges. Our county has very little budget to cover unexpected expenses of this kind, so it is important that we plan ahead of time how much of this traffic we can handle. Tourism is a key economic driver of our area, and I fear that we would see a precipitous drop in visitors should we allow large numbers of sand mines to destroy the beauty of our landscape.

I suggest we follow Allamakee County's lead and enact a moratorium for at least two years to ensure that we protect our local environmental and economic resources.

Jennifer Self,