ANDERSON – Another environmental group has voiced opposition to the proposed Mounds Lake reservoir based on concerns over the potential impact on Mounds State Park.
The Robert Cooper Audubon Society, which represents 500 members in Madison, Delaware, Henry, Grant, Jay, Randolph and Blackford counties, stated the proposed reservoir would “exact a heavy cost to the natural environment by inundating at least one-third of Mounds State Park."
Marty Benson, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said DNR has not taken an active role in the discussion concerning the reservoir.
“Nothing has been formally done,” he said. “Until the permits required are applied for the DNR will not have an active role.”
State Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said the process surrounding the proposed reservoir has to be transparent.
“My concern is the impact on Mounds State Park,” he said. “The state park is an important asset for community and Indiana. We need to know what the impact will be and the impact on the White River.”
Lanane said residents should insist on transparency throughout the discussion period on the proposed reservoir.
“There are still a lot of questions that need to be resolved,” he said.
Among the consequences would be the loss of shaded hiking trails along White River that would be submerged, the group said in a press release. Another concern is that the Adena-Hopewell Indian mounds would be subjected to a greater threat of flooding and erosion.
“The complete destruction of the Mounds Fen State Nature Preserve,” Sarah McKillip, president of the local society, said. “The board meets four times a year and voted unanimously to approve the opposition to the reservoir.”
McKillip said group members have attended several of the public forums on the reservoir, but this is the first time it has voiced opposition to the plan.