Life in Decorah/Winneshiek County is about as good as it gets - this winter and early spring not withstanding - and anything that could possibly threaten that way of life needs to be examined closely ... in minute detail.

That's why the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors should enact a 24- or 18-month moratorium on allowing frac-sand mining to occur within the county. One would be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of individuals - most of whom stand to profit from such a venture - who oppose a serious analysis of the matter and its many repercussions.

While some may look at frac-sand mining as a tremendous economic opportunity for this entire area, passing a moratorium on issuing new mining permits does not automatically eliminate that future possibility. Not at all. The only thing a moratorium will do is give the county and its residents sufficient time to study the matter in detail. And that seems a prudent course of action.

What is fracking? It's a relatively new drilling technology of high-volume horizontal fracturing (fracking) that makes it possible to reach natural gas and oil reserves.

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