Thursday, October 10, 2013
Ind. Gov't. - "Environmental Concerns Addressed Over Logjam Removal"
Updating yesterday's ILB entry, here is the second part of a three-part story from StacyPageOnline, out of Kosciusko County, examining the Tippecanoe River logjam removal project, which is to begin today. Some quotes:
According to Amy Bloemendaal of Kosciusko County Lakes and Streams, the process of removing logjams aims to reduce erosion and sedimentation in rivers and streams due to the jams. She explained that due to logjams, water can be redirected toward areas of concern, such as roads, stream banks and areas that may “markedly affect stream channel patterns.” She further explained that the process of removing the logjams is of great concern to agencies such as the DNR, especially when weighing the effects on fish, wildlife and other aquatic organisms.
“Woody debris provides a valuable habitat for fish, wildlife and other aquatic organisms, so removal of logjams must be weighed against the impacts on fish and wildlife habitat,” stated Bloemendaal. “Expertise within DNR will be utilized to help determine these potential impacts. If approved, the removal of such logjams must be conducted in a manner that minimizes impact on both the aquatic habitat and the land used to access the stream for logjam removal.”
Bloemendaal said it is recognized that woody debris is an import part of the habitat within the river and stressed the removal process would be limited to areas of greatest severity. She noted that removal would be conducted in an environmentally conscious way.
“The project will not, cannot and in good environmental conscious has no intention to remove all woody debris,” stated Bloemendaal. “The project will only focus on removals in the areas of most severe jamming, which can actually improve the health of the Tippecanoe River and has the potential to help mitigate flooding.”
Both Bloemendaal and Kosciusko County Emergency Management Director Ed Rock stressed the fact that absolutely no dredging will take place during the removal of the logjams and that only light equipment will be utilized. Bloemendaal also noted there will be no clear cutting as a result of the project. * * *
According to Rock, the project will be handled by Gilbert Drainage and Excavating of Wawaka. Though the company was awarded the $111,000 bid, currently $46,000 is available for the project through the LARE grant and a 20 percent match. Rock said much of the match was raised by groups such as the Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners, Pike Lake Property Owners and Center Lake Property Owners. As each logjam is estimated at $1,000 to clear, Rock stated the county plans to pursue additional funding next year to finish the logjam removal process.