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Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club Oppose Mounds Lake Reservoir

On April 14, 2015, the Board of Directors of the Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club issued the following statement of opposition to the Mounds Lake Reservoir project.

The Board of Directors of the Hoosier Canoe and Kayak Club, established over fifty years ago and one of the largest paddling organizations in the state, submits the following statement in opposition to the proposed Mounds Reservoir and Dam.

The Board believes in the preservation of the White River as a free-flowing stream. We support the conservation of Indiana’s rivers and streams and we appreciate the immense value of the White River as a resource. The controversial reservoir project would flood many miles of the river, resulting in the destruction of its natural state, and threatening the river’s waters, fish and wildlife, and recreational benefits. The development of a reservoir would result in the flooding and elimination of significant archeological sites and other areas of Mounds State Park, including the artifacts and heritage of Native American communities, as well as the Mounds Fen Nature Preserve, protected by legislation. It would flood historical neighborhoods in the city of Anderson, held for generations of Hoosier families. Other communities, businesses, and residences along the river would be negatively impacted. The proposed reservoir area includes previous industrial sites which, when flooded, could create new environmental hazards. With the additional factor of agricultural runoff, the quality of the reservoir waters would be in question.

Feasibility studies have not demonstrated a compelling economic benefit, nor have they addressed engineering issues and funding challenges. Water studies for Indiana have not identified a need of this scale nor have they identified the desirability of this site. In fact, this proposed course places our state on a path divergent from the national trend of removing dams and the restoration and preservation of natural free-flowing streams. The proposed dam on the White River runs counter to current environmental science and stewardship, and therefore, the Hoosier Canoe and Kayak Club does not support the effort to build a dam and reservoir on the White River.