Jump to content

Looking Upstream: Kankakee River


Recommended Posts

This latest comes from a friend in Indiana:

 

 

Guys-- this legislation is a direct result of the Farmers For a Flood Free Kankakee that Norm met upstream after the floods of 2008. The group convinced local House reps that the floods were a result of logjams. The real reason was several of the levees blowing out. The bill caught us completely off guard and we were unprepared.

 

The IN Division IWLA met yesterday on the river in Shelby and the consensus was this legislation will allow any drainage board to access any accumulation of woody debris without the need for a DNR permit, the only protection we previously had to keep the drainage boards from running amok in our rivers and stream. Others said it allows landowners to remove logjams too.

 

You can guess what the result of this work can mean to everyone downstream

 

The bill allows access roads to be constructed to access the woody debris and heavy equipment can be used directly in the channel. This will be devastating for you guys if we have a wet year. We hope to correct it in the next session but that will give the drainage board a free pass for a year.

 

The USACE will probably not get involved with any drainage board activity unless they go after something not already a regulated drain.

 

The only way to prevent severe damage is some kind of action from your side of the state line.

 

The bill has passed both houses and will be signed by the Governor

 

http://www.in.gov/le...H/EH1232.1.html

http://www.in.gov/po...vents/50933.htm

http://farmers-excha...?articleID=8226

http://nwitimes.com/...8d3e02cd74.html

 

I hope you can do something

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest rich mc

just like the other states sued Illinois in an attemptto close the canal to stop invasive carp from getting into lake michigamn. perhaps Amy Madigan needs to step up to the plate to protect the future of illinois's Kankakee River. too bad we didnt know about this last night. a chat with Marc Miller about this makes sense . rich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just like the other states sued Illinois in an attemptto close the canal to stop invasive carp from getting into lake michigamn. perhaps Amy Madigan needs to step up to the plate to protect the future of illinois's Kankakee River. too bad we didnt know about this last night. a chat with Marc Miller about this makes sense . rich

Even if it wanted to I don't see how Illinois could really do much to prevent this debacle.Where are the Indiana sportsmen? & the Ind DNR? From what I've seen driving over it on I65 most of the Kank is lined with wood.Therefore those advocating this move have a license to kill.Sad to say it probably would've been better if many years ago the entire Indiana Kankakee river basin had been urbanized before channelization etc.Less harm likely would've been done than what the self serving Indiana farm lobby has/will yet wrought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before the Indiana side was channelized the whole area was a big swamp. The Grand Kankakee Swamp. One of the most famous duck hunting areas in the world. No place to urbanize, it was unihabitable. Miles and miles of ditches were dug to drain the marsh and create the farms that now exist there. Then, as today, farms were considered more important than the wildlife.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The issue caught us a little off guard over in Indiana. We lobbied pretty hard in the ~2 weeks leading up to the Senate vote but it was clear from the onset that support for the bill was widespread among the politicians. See the letter I wrote below and the response BT got from sending that same letter:

 

2/10/2010

 

Indiana Smallmouth Alliance

201 Victory Hill

Coatesville, IN 46121

 

RE: HB 1232 -- Logjam Removal

 

Dear [Natural Resource Committee Member],

 

I am writing you on behalf of more than 100 Indiana smallmouth bass anglers to express our concern about proposed legislation regarding log jam removal from Hoosier waterways (HB 1232: Logjam removal). This bill would allow unqualified county officials to sanction irreversible changes to riverine structure, severely degrading wildlife habitat and contributing to well-documented erosion issues. The proposed change seriously threatens quality recreational opportunities for Hoosier anglers. It also endangers the complex natural systems that sustain all life.

 

We believe that all logjam removal should continue to require DNR review; they are the state agency charged with protecting our natural resources and should be allowed to perform their designated duty.

 

Help us protect Indiana's beautiful streams and rivers by rejecting HB 1232. Thank you for your time and consideration

 

Sincerely,

 

INSA

 

 

Hi Brenden,

 

Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding this important piece of legislation. Allow me to update you on the progress of this bill as it makes its way to the Senate.

 

Initially introduced in the House by Representative Tom Dermody of La Porte, this bill would essentially allow for a more streamlined process in the obtainment of a logjam removal permit. As you know, an individual currently must obtain three permits from three separate agencies. Representative Dermody’s bill would remove the requirement for the Department of Natural Resources permit to remove a logjam from a river or stream. The DNR has indicated their approval of such a modification. The bill quickly passed through the House with a Third Reading vote of 93 Yeas to 1 Nay.

 

I have made the decision to sponsor HB 1232 as it makes its way through the Senate. It has been referred to the Committee of Natural Resources, and I hope it will be granted a hearing. This bill has the potential to ease some of the stress on Hoosiers in Northwest Indiana and throughout the State. The threats of damaging floods have had drastic effects not only environmentally but economically as well. Not only have schools and roads been closed, but also Indiana farmers have suffered due to land loss. I feel it is our job to ensure the safety of the people of Indiana, and a simplified permit process is a step in the right direction.

 

Thanks for your email, and I want you to know that I will be following this bill closely as it works its way through the Senate.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Jim Arnold

 

State Senator

 

District 8

 

 

 

http://indianasmallmouthalliance.org/members/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1184

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before the Indiana side was channelized the whole area was a big swamp. The Grand Kankakee Swamp. One of the most famous duck hunting areas in the world. No place to urbanize, it was unihabitable. Miles and miles of ditches were dug to drain the marsh and create the farms that now exist there. Then, as today, farms were considered more important than the wildlife.

As if more farmland was needed.Most of the entire midwest is farmland to say nothing of other parts of the country.It serves them right that they have so much trouble with floods in this area for interfering with Nature when there was no need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marc Miller did know about the bill, I don't know how much he could have done to stop it. The State of Illinois sued the State of Indiana in I believe 1979 and there was a settlement reached. The terms of that agreement in Federal Court are still in place and in effect on the Kankakee.

 

What this bill did was to remove the IND DNR from the permitting process for logjam removal. The COE and Ind Environmental Agency[ I forget it's intials] are still involved on the Kankakee. Without being able to access the court agreement I can't say for sure if the IND DNR is still required to be involved on the Kankakee but I suspect not. Even if they are bound by the court agreement to be involved in this watershed, it's an absolute disaster for the rest of the state.

 

I don't have time right now for my full rant, maybe later, depending on meetings and fishing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe the issue will be investigated further this summer. We need to keep pressuring for a more favorable ruling. The biggest issue that Arnold et al seem to be missing is that channelizing in one section doesn't eliminate the risk of flood damage, it just moves it downstream (and makes it worse).

 

Mike--this is a good chance for us to work together. I'll be in touch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was apparent in Senator Arnold's response that the state feels the needs of the fishermen and the river wildlife are less important that the needs of those farmers whose lands are being flooded out. I'd think it's going to be a tough battle, one that in order to win, would have to be fought in the courts. Even if you had a lot of money to spend fighting it, I don't see how you are going to win this one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was apparent in Senator Arnold's response that the state feels the needs of the fishermen and the river wildlife are less important that the needs of those farmers whose lands are being flooded out. I'd think it's going to be a tough battle, one that in order to win, would have to be fought in the courts. Even if you had a lot of money to spend fighting it, I don't see how you are going to win this one.

 

 

Overreaction to flood of the century.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reasons the levees breached was there was to much water for the system they designed and the river did what rivers do when there is too much water. It doesn't matter if the banks are natural or man made it's going where it wants to go.

 

Logjams caused the flooding my aching ass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...