NANFA-- Indiana big fish kill: DNR and endangered aquatic life
Wed, 19 Jan 2000 18:49:41 EST

In a message dated 1/19/00 3:45:04 PM US Central Standard Time, writes:

>I brought this up to the list a week or so ago but got no response. The
>Indiana DNR website has a downloadable file that shows areas containing
>endangered, at risk and species of special concern by county.

sorry, I meant to get to it and forgot. Below is a summary for affected
counties, transcribed from the IDNR web page. I'd bet almost anything that
most of the mussels listed occurred in the mainstem White- they aren't forms
that are usually found in small creeks. Does anyone else get the impression
that Indiana DNR is lying through their teeth, and trying to cover their
tails on this one? >>


First of all, my intentions are to get to the truth. Perhaps when the DNR
answered my question, they misspoke or were not aware of anything at that
time. Perhaps what they said is true. Maybe the pollutant did not effect
shell fish. I really have no idea. But I would sure like to find out.
After all, it was not the DNR that killed the fish. And my impression and
limited experience with folks in DNR is that they are normally dedicated
conservationists and I am sure the professionals are appalled
at the loss of life. As for the political appointees, I don't know. Like
most folks, they report to a boss and pretty much do what the boss says, even
if they don't agree.

So, my intentions are to get them to clarify the issue. I am a big believer
in giving people the opportunity to do the right thing, without undue
pressure. If they choose not to do that, then that is another matter.
Perhaps a personal letter to the head of the DNR or the Governor will get an
official answer. Suggestions welcomed.

Early in this event, someone on the list suggested to me off list that it is
important to find this out so that the offender can be held responsible for
that issue, too. To do that, I imagine the public has to be aware of it.

Are there some issues that the DNR might have that would incline them to hide
an endangered species kill? Are there monetary sanctions, perhaps? Or just
normal, nasty politics of not giving opponents anything to criticize them on?

Chuck Church
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

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