The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Letters

March 9, 2014

Viewpoint: Stop the Mounds Reservoir project

Shortly after moving to Muncie in 1992 my family and I visited Mounds State Park. We have since visited many times each year. We have delighted in the bountiful spring wildflowers, from the fascinating skunk cabbage found in east central Indiana’s best preserved fen, to the elegant blood root and beautiful hepatica.

Canoeing down the river is a great way to enjoy the wooded corridor through the park in the summer, as well as the great blue herons and kingfishers that make the river their home. Other birds we have observed have included warblers, Indigo buntings, red-headed woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, kinglets, and great flycatchers. If conditions allow, the trails are wonderful for cross-country skiing or hiking in the winter. Another wonderful facet of Mounds State Park is that it encompasses some of the best preserved Mounds built by the prehistoric Adena people. The Great Mound is thought to have been built around 160 BCE. It is a mysterious and amazing sight. It measures 394 feet across with 9-foot embankments.

We have appreciated Mounds Park even more since realizing that it is one of very few high-quality natural areas remaining in east central Indiana. Therefore, it is with great dismay that we have read about the Mounds Reservoir Project. This project would result in the loss of one-third of Mounds State Park including the state dedicated Mounds Fen Nature Preserve. The habitat loss both in the park and the wooded corridor along the river would be a tremendous blow to wildlife — both plant and animal. One thousand acres of forested riparian corridor would be destroyed by this project. While the proposed Mounds Reservoir is not supposed to directly impact the major prehistoric mounds, their natural setting of deep ravines and plateaus would be irrevocably lost.

The forested riparian corridor is not only essential wildlife habitat; it benefits human populations by reducing flooding and improving water quality. The project is being promoted as a means of providing water to Indianapolis and Anderson, but is that really what is driving this effort? These communities did not initiate this project. It is hard to believe the promoters are motivated by public well-being. The reservoir would submerge several industrial dump sites. Would the water be safe?

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