Executive Statement of Support for a White River Corridor Recreation Concept,
an Alternative to the Mounds Lake Project
2 September 2015
The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that natural resources should be managed as interrelated parts of life-supporting ecosystems. Resources should be conserved and protected to assure their future availability. Pollution of these resources should be controlled in order to preserve the physical, chemical and biological integrity of ecosystems and to protect public health.
LWVUS Impact on Issues 2014-2016: A Guide to Public Policy Positions.
The League of Women Voters believes that responsible government should:
· Be responsive to the will of the people.
· Promote public understanding and participation in decision making as essential elements of responsible and responsive management of our natural resources.
· Promote the conservation and development of natural resources in the public interest.
· Ensure transparency, accountability, positive community impact and preservation of the common good when considering the transfer of governmental services, assets and/or functions to the private sector.
· Promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest.
In its 95-year history, the League of Women Voters of the United States has demonstrated its belief that responsible citizens should educate themselves and participate in public decision-making. Six months of research by our local Environmental Study Committee, working from League positions on Land Use, Water Resources, and Fiscal Responsibility, led us to oppose the Mounds Lake Reservoir Project. The same League positions on Land Use, Water Resources, and Fiscal Responsibility as well as Social Justice compel us to consider positive alternatives for the White River Corridor.
Criteria for our support, from the League’s Position on Natural Resources and Resource Management:
The League supports comprehensive long-range planning and believes that wise decision-making requires, [among other things]:
· adequate data and a framework within which alternatives may be weighed and intelligent decisions made;
· consideration of environmental, public- health, social and economic impacts of proposed plans and actions;
· protection of private property rights commensurate with overall consideration of public health and environmental protection;
· special responsibility by each level of government for those lands and resources entrusted to them;
· special consideration for the protection of areas of critical environmental concern, natural hazards, historical importance and aesthetic value:
o areas where development could result in irreversible damage (such as shore-lands of rivers, lakes and streams…; rare or valuable ecosystems and geological formations; significant wildlife habitats; unique scenic or historic areas; wetlands;…);
o renewable resource lands, where development could result in the loss of productivity (such as watersheds, aquifers and aquifer-recharge areas, significant agricultural and grazing lands, forest lands);
· special attention to maintaining and improving the environmental quality of urban communities.
The Hoosier Environmental Council (hecweb.org) has a well-developed plan for the Mounds Greenway that appears to meet our criteria. A coherent plan for the White River corridor from Muncie to Anderson would additionally benefit the greenway and trail projects submitted by the newly-formed East Central Indiana Regional Development Authority as part of its bid for state dollars. As a consensus and study-driven group, we affirm our intent to study the Mounds Greenway plan as an ecologically wise use of our natural resources in the White River corridor for recreation and potential economic benefit and to remain involved in the evolution of the river corridor.