News release– Mounds Greenway proposal unveiled today

(More information will be posted on HTR’s website: http://www.moundslakereservoir.org)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

August 18, 2014                                                     

 

 “Mounds Greenway” Proposal Unveiled as

Sustainable Alternative to Controversial Reservoir Project

New Plan Would Attract Tourism, Saves Forests and Safeguards Free-Flowing River

(Daleville, IN)- The Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest statewide environmental policy organization, along with the Heart of the River Coalition and Robert Cooper Audubon Society, today announced a sustainable alternative to a plan to dam the West Fork White River in Anderson – the Mounds Greenway.

The Mounds Greenway — White River Conservation Area” project will save the free-flowing West Fork White River between Anderson and Muncie, and protect over 2,000 acres of forests and wetlands.  A key feature of the Greenway will be a hiking and biking trail that runs the entire length of the corridor. In addition to trail hiking and biking, visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities, including camping, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, picnicking, wildlife observation and nature photography. 

The Mounds Greenway project will protect clean water for Hoosiers by conserving critical floodplain forests that reduce sediment and other runoff entering the river. Protection and restoration of wetlands will help filter polluted runoff before it reaches the river, and also provide groundwater recharge areas that maintain a healthy aquifer and regional water supply.

Establishment of the Greenway will also ensure that priceless prehistoric sites, like the 2000-year-old Adena and Hopewell Mounds in Mounds State Park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, continue to be protected, rather than threatened by a reservoir that will flood part of the park. The State Park attracts over 360,000 annual visits from history and nature lovers. The Greenway will also ensure that the rare Mounds Fen, which shelters native Indiana plant species, continues to be preserved.

 “The Mounds Greenway would stimulate a wide variety of leisure and educational opportunities,” said Tim Maloney, senior policy director for HEC.  “And there would be great promise that the Greenway would foster small business growth, like locally sourced restaurants, brewpubs, coffee shops, and wine bars, all of which are highly valued by visitors and local residents after a day on the trail or the river.  Outfitters would also be drawn to the Greenway, providing canoes, kayaks, bicycles, fishing tackle and other outdoor gear that visitors rely on.  The Greenway would increase prosperity, in a sustainable way, for this region,” said Maloney.

Sheryl Myers of the Heart of the River Coalition said, “Heart of the River believes that a greenway connecting Anderson and Muncie would not only preserve our free-flowing river but also provide a multiple use recreational trail that would make this area a more attractive place to live and work.  Building a greenway would be more cost effective and sustainable than building a high-risk dam and reservoir which wouldn’t be needed to supply water for many decades, if then.”

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letter to The Herald Bulletin

We should heed James Madison’s advice

Ronald Jones’ letter (Reservoir promotion has circus approach, July 24, 2014) spotlighted the hype which has characterized the promotion of the planned dam by the Madison County Corporation for Economic Development and its executive director.

The promotion has heavily emphasized, if not contrived, the potential positive results and deftly avoided public discussion of any problematic aspects.

One of James Madison’s better known quotes pertains to the power of knowledge: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

This quote is often used by both news organizations and citizens’ groups in reference to the publics’ right to know and to access to public records and open public meetings.

In a similar vein, citizens should use knowledge, acquired from independent sources, to critically evaluate the claims and the omissions of the dam’s professional promoters. Investigative journalism can also play an important role in exploring independent sources to obtain and report pertinent facts.

As noted in Black’s Law Dictionary, “Truth which is not sufficiently defended is overpowered; and he who does not disapprove, approves”. Considering the substantial private financial interests which are pushing the dam plan and downplaying its many negative effects, it will be critical that there be an informed critique and vigorous rebuttal of dubious claims. “We the People”, in Madison and other Indiana counties, should be leading that effort.

Clarke Kahlo
7-25-14