Indiana Living Green’s Bowden Quinn on the dam fight

The June 2013 edition of Indiana Living Green, a sustainability news and advocacy publication, contains a column by Bowden Quinn of the Sierra Club/Hoosier Chapter entitled  Ready– for a dam good fight?  Quinn recalls several previous dam proposal controversies with the Army Corps of Engineers and the then-Indianapolis Water Company.  In a wry style, he characterizes the controversy as David v. Goliath match-up.  Here are the pertinent parts:

“Other than clear-cutting a forest, nothing elicits a conservationist call to arms quite like a proposal to stop a flowing river.  Dam fights are great.  In the checkered history of the environmental movement, they have gotten us some of our most stories victories—even here in Indiana where environmental successes have been few.  …

“So now comes a proposal to back up the White River for seven miles in Madison and Delaware Counties, ostensibly to provide drinking water and flood control for central Indiana , although it’s noteworthy that the proposal emanates from the Madison County Corporation for Economic Development rather than the Corps (of Engineers).  In fact, the original idea came from a local oil company president who conceded that he thought it was a ”nutty” idea at first.  …

“But the battle lines are forming now and so far the opponents are comfortably in the minority.  As of this writing, the Support the Mounds Lake Reservoir page on Facebook has 2693 Likes: the two (naturally the opponents are already divided) anti-reservoir pages have a total of 316 Likes.  We’ve got them right where we want them.”

Quinn’s characterization reminds me of the Mahatma Gandhi quote which is often used by John Blair of Valley Watch in Evansville:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Blair recently posted his thoughts on the dam proposal, Mounds reservoir proposal attracts protest as well it should, on the Valley Watch website at the following link:


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