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Ouabache Land Conservancy

Oct. 5, 2015
The Heart of the River Coalition,

The Ouabache Land Conservancy passed a resolution at our September 1 Board of Directors meeting in opposition to the proposed Mounds Reservoir Project as follows:

The Ouabache Land Conservancy opposes the damming of White River at Anderson, Indiana, known as the Mounds Lake project, because its construction would result in the loss of the state-dedicated Mounds Fen Nature Preserve, a natural feature represented nowhere else in Indiana, and rare or absent elsewhere in the Midwest.

If the proposed reservoir is built, the state not only would lose an irreplaceable piece of its natural heritage, but it also would lose the promise inherent in its nature preserve designation, the first such threat to a nature preserve since Indiana's Nature Preserves Act of 1967. This law established the system of dedicated state nature preserves and states that the properties "are to be held in trust for the benefit of the people of Indiana of present and future generations," and are to be taken for other public uses only if there is an "imperative and unavoidable necessity." There is no such necessity, and if built, it would set a regrettable precedent for the destruction of a state nature preserve.

The Ouabache Land Conservancy is a stakeholder because it is responsible for managing conservation easements and nature preserves in western Indiana. If built, the Mounds Lake Project would set a precedent that would allow any big-money interest to circumvent natural area protection at will. The Ouabache Land Conservancy would then be hard-pressed to assure donors of funds, property or conservation easements that the natural values of the property they wish to protect with their own resources would be held in trust for the benefit of the people of Indiana of present and future generations.

Phil Cox
Ouabache Land Conservancy