Lake Shafer and Freeman Stakeholders,
SFLECC needs your assistance in helping us to conserve the lake levels of Lake Freeman and Shafer!
For over 20 years we have been serving shorefront license holders, lake businesses, visitors, and the Twin Lakes community in working to conserve the waters of our beautiful Lakes for public use and enjoyment by:
* removing tons of silt and floating debris from both lakes
* guiding the placement of homeowner investments in shoreline improvements
* enhancing fish populations and other aquatic wildlife through stocking, tagging and habitat building.
Now SFLECC is faced with a greater challenge – to stop our Lakes waters from being lowered unfairly.
* We believe that the recent decision by the Federal Government’s Fish and Wildlife Service and NIPSCO, to control lake levels in order to protect endangered mussel species in the Tippecanoe River is misguided and ill-conceived. They have not used the “best science” available nor hydrology methodology that is appropriate for the Tippecanoe River situation. The continued use of their approach will result in more water being released from Lake Freeman than is necessary to maintain the mussel population.
* Severe lake drops, like those that occurred in August, are likely to recur and bar access to our lakes almost every year if this policy continues.
* Oakdale and Norway Dams have been in place for more than 80 years. Common sense says that the mussels have adapted to their presence and have somehow managed to survive without government interference.
US Fish and Wildlife should not be entitled to require discharges from the Oakdale Dam in amounts that exceed historical run-of-the-river amounts that existed before the dams were built.
Last summer SFLECC formed a KEEP THE LAKE LEVELS Task Force and three citizen study groups made up of local engineers, legal, business, and technically minded people.
Their task was to investigate the hydrological, biological, and legal basis for the sudden government intervention. The SFLECC staff and volunteer groups have been working nearly 24/7 and have found much cause for question of the US Fish and Wildlife /NIPSCO actions.
To back our Task Force and Study Groups research findings we have:
* found it necessary to hire university-level technical science experts in hydrology, and marine biology;
* worked closely with local legal counsel in the filing of an appeal of the government’s temporary Oakdale Dam operation order; and
* hired a large, nationally respected DC law firm for advice, technical assistance and representation with the government agencies and NIPSCO. If formal legal action through the Federal courts is necessary (something we are hoping to avoid) this will be a long and expensive action.
Our actions, if successful, whether they are through negotiation or formal legal action, will benefit you and your family in some way, whether you are an SFLECC licensee, other Lake property owner, Twin Lakes area resident, business owner, or occasional visitor.
Our two Lakes give us so many benefits: recreation; relief on hot summer days; beautiful vistas; fond memories; jobs; tourists who leave dollars in the community; and solid property values.
Please help us preserve our Lakes Freeman and Shafer and their benefits by sending a donation to our SAVE OUR LAKE LEVELS FUND. Any amount would be appreciated. Thank you.
To donate, please print out the Save The Lakes Flyer below and send to PO Box 372 Monticello, IN 47960