The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Politics

May 18, 2013

“Paddle protest” travels White River

Environmentalists concerned about ecological impact of proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir

ANDERSON, Ind. — A rainy morning did not keep about 50 environmentalists from kayaking and canoeing Saturday in protest of the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir.

The protesters started their tour at Canoe Country in Daleville and paddled down a 10-mile stretch of the White River for nearly four hours, to call attention to the river’s value for recreation and scenery.

From its dam head just west of Scatterfield Road in Anderson, the reservoir would back water up seven miles to Delaware County Road 300 South and encompass 2,100 acres.

According to preliminary estimates, the project would cost between $300 million and $400 million to build. Its primary purpose would be to supplement the Indianapolis metropolitan area’s water needs.

Clarke Kahlo, leader of the newly formed Heart of the River Coalition, said his group is concerned officials proposing the reservoir haven’t done enough to evaluate and study the feasibility of the project. He said the “paddle protest” was meant to educate the surrounding communities in addition to getting the attention of reservoir proponents.

“We need to see the math,” Kahlo said. “We feel like the discussions up to now have been highly scripted, and we can’t take everything we’ve heard on faith.”

Some of the paddlers also had ecological concerns. Botanist Kevin Tungesvick contributed to a study of flora in Mounds State Park. The study showed that the park has the highest quality of plant diversity in Central Indiana, based on a floristic quality index used in the research. He said he was convinced the rare plant life found in the wetlands would be severely harmed if the project moved forward.

Tungesvick also said the project concerns him fiscally, as well as environmentally.

“My initial reaction was, this is a 1950s solution in the 21st century. The time for building these reservoirs has passed,” Tungesvick said. “There are other ways to deal with some of the problems in the area.”

But the paddlers weren’t focused completely on sending a serious message. Elizabeth Mahoney came from her northside Indianapolis home near the White River to have fun with other nature-lovers.

“I’m a water person, and I love canoeing and kayaking. This area is important to me,” she said.

But Mahoney also shared environmental concerns. She said the project not only poses a risk to the ecosystem but also creates a human health-hazard because of pollution into the White River.

“What I’ve noticed about Indiana politics is, the environment usually loses out to business concerns, and I think we really need to realign our priorities.”

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @AggieJack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

1
Text Only
Local Politics
  • NWS - HB0424 - Linda Smith election mug Serving customers important to both recorder candidates Two Republicans are vying in the May 6 primary for their party's nomination for Madison County recorder and both say this race is all about customer service.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Rep Eric Turner, R-Cicero Turner denies wrongdoing in ethics investigation State Rep. Eric Turner, through written responses, denied breaking any House rules in regard to an Ethics Committee investigation.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Democratic congressional candidates discuss issues

    The three candidates hoping to become the first Democrat to represent portions of central Indiana in more than 25 years met Wednesday in the only planned debate of the primary campaign.

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB0423 - Primary Treasurer Dem - Tamie Dixon-Tatum Treasurer candidates want partnerships

    Democrats Kathy Mougeotte and Tamie Dixon-Tatum explain how they were inspired to run for a political office. They are opponents seeking their party's nomination for treasurer in the May 6 primary.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-HB0423-Primary Election Treasurer Rep-Micah Mitchell Incumbent challenged by first-time candidate

    Kelly Gaskill says she's made numerous improvements in the operation of the Madison County treasurer's office since taking the helm in 2011. But her Republican challenger in the May 6 primary, Micah Mitchell, doesn't shy away from criticizing how Gaskill has run the office.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Huckabee, Priebus headlining Ind. GOP convention

    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and National Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus are headlining the Indiana Republican Party's 2014 convention in June.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS - HB0422 - Commissioners Race-Smith, John First-time candidate Smith challenges Owens Steffanie Owens is seeking the Republican Party nomination for a second term as Madison County commissioner against John Smith who is seeking his first political office.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bell leads in sheriff campaign spending

    Going into the final month of the primary election campaign, Scott Mellinger, one of three Democrats seeking the party nomination for sheriff, has the most cash on hand.

    April 22, 2014

  • GOP endorses several primary candidates For the first time in nearly four decades the Madison County Republican Party has endorsed candidates in the May 6 primary.

    April 21, 2014

  • Turner case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature'

    When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 20, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide