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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Environment - More on: Mounds Lake reservoir plan opposed by environmental groups

Updating this lengthy March 10th ILB post, Seth Slabaugh of the Muncie Star-Press has a long story today that begins:

MUNCIE — The star-nosed mole, the clamp-tipped emerald green dragonfly and the shining lady’s-tresses orchid could get in the way of plans to build the controversial Mounds Lake reservoir.

The Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society (INPAWS) says the reservoir would flood an ice age fen that is home to rare species and undermine the state’s nature preserves act, “which has not faced such a challenge since its passage in 1967.”

The $350 million lake would be created by damming the White River in Anderson, creating a reservoir over what is now seven miles of free-flowing river from Anderson upstream to an area north of Daleville.

According to an upcoming article in The INPAWS Journal, “as the reservoir drama unfolds, proposals will surface that natural resources lost through flooding will be mitigated by replacing them elsewhere through habitat restoration.”

The author, Lee Casebere, retired assistant director of nature preserves for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, writes, “In this case ... how do you replace a glacially created, ground-water-fed complex system whose parts are not fully known or understood? It can’t be done.”

Kevin Tungesvick, a local restoration ecologist, recently told bird watchers from the Robert Cooper Audubon Society the fen (a type of wetland) “is so hydrologically and geologically complex ... you cannot recreate this setting. In other words ... fens are not created by men; fens are created by ice ages.” * * *

State law prohibits the taking of nature preserves for any other use except another public use and only after a finding by the natural resources commission of the existence of an imperative and unavoidable public necessity for the other public use and with the approval of the governor.

Although today's article (which should be read in full) quotes two statements from developers that "Mounds Lake is still just a concept, 'a good idea,' the Anderson Corporation for Economic Development reports," as the ILB wrote in its earlier post:
The "Mounds Lake on the White River" project has a sophisticated website, access it here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 1, 2014 08:47 AM
Posted to Environment